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BOSTON     •     NEW    YORK     •     CHICAGO     •     LONDON 
ATLANTA     •    DALLAS     -    COLUMBUS     •    SAN    FRANCISCO 

,  COPYRIGHT,  1920,  BY 







We  are  on  the  threshold  of  a  new  era  in  the  history  of  immi- 
gration in  this  country.  The  combined  effects  of  the  European 
war  and  the  new  immigration  law  of  1917  will  be  so  great  as  to 
render  much  of  our  antebellum  literature  on  immigration  out  of 
tune  with  the  new  order.  Hence  the  need  of  a  representative 
volume  summarizing  the  best  thought  in  past  and  current  literature 
on  immigration  and  Americanization. 

The  book  aims  to  cover  the  field  of  immigration  and  Amer- 
icanization from  every  possible  point  of  view,  subject  to  the  limits 
of  a  single  volume.  It  is  particularly  designed  to  meet  the  needs 
of  high  schools,  colleges,  universities,  and  Chautauquas,  which 
have  been  frequently  at  a  loss  in  recommending  to  the  student, 
investigator,  official,  or  general  public  a  handbook  on  these  twin 

This  reference  book  is  the  outgrowth  of  several  courses  on 
these  subjects  for  teachers  at  Boston  University  and  of  similar 
courses  for  workers  with  immigrants  under  the  joint  auspices  of 
the  Old  South  Historical  Association  and  the  University  Extension 
Division  of  Massachusetts  Board  of  Education.  Much  of  the  mate- 
rial of  the  present  volume  was  critically  examined  and  tested  by 
the  students  in  the  light  of  definite  standards  of  choice,  primarily 
with  the  idea  of  making  available  to  the  general  reader  and 
special  student  alike  the  best  that  there  is  in  the  literature  to  date, 
covering  many  centuries  and  countries  and,  therefore,  necessarily 
scattered  and  inaccessible. 

These  selections  have  been  so  arranged  as  to  present  not  only  a 
chronological  but  a  logical  development  of  the  subject  matter,  in- 
cluding the  most  significant  recent  contributions  to  the  all-important 
problems  of  Americanization  in  terms  of  the  broadest  American 
spirit.  The  volume  should  prove  a  useful  handbook  for  similar 
courses  in  immigration  and  Americanization  which  are  growing 
in  number  and  variety  in  colleges  and  Chautauquas,  as  well  as 


among  men's  and  women's  clubs  everywhere,  and  equally  useful 
for  general  or  supplementary  reading  for  thesis  work,  debates,  or 
general  information  about  races  and  peoples,  conditions  and  issues, 
brought  into  special  prominence  by  the  World  War. 

As  the  volume  goes  to  press,  it  becomes  evident  that  our  real 
problem  is  not  immigration  per  se,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the 
League  of  Nations  Treaty  may  precipitate  many  international 
problems  on  this  issue,  but  the  Americanization  of  the  millions  of 
immigrants  in  our  midst,  to  the  end  that  the  United  States  may 
also  represent  a  united  people. 

"  Many  People,  One  Nation  "  is  the  watchword  of  the  Amer- 
icanization movement,  and  many  of  the  distinguished  men  and 
women  who  generously  contribute  to  the  volume  are  themselves 
important  factors  in  the  movement.  To  all  contributors  and  their 
publishers  the  editor  desires  to  make  grateful  acknowledgment. 



The  editor  is  indebted  to  all  authors  listed  in  the  table  of 
contents  for  generous  permission  to  use  selections  from  copy- 
righted works  and  other  publications.  Grateful  acknowledgment 
is  also  made  to  the  following  publishers :  The  Macmillan  Com- 
pany, the  Century  Company,  Funk  and  Wagnalls  Company, 
Henry  Holt  and  Company,  Little,  Brown  and  Company,  G.  P. 
Putnam's  Sons,  the  Fleming  H.  Revell  Company,  and  George 
Routledge  and  Sons;  to  the  publishers  of  the  American  Eco- 
nomic Review,  the  American  Hebrew,  the  Educational  Review,  the 
Immigrants  in  America  Review,  the  Journal  of  Sociology,  the 
Popular  Science  Monthly,  the  Quarterly  Journal  of  Economics, 
the  Scientific  Monthly,  and  the  Survey;  and  also  to  the  American 
Sociological  Society,  the  Committee  for  Immigrants  in  America, 
the  Knights  of  Columbus,  the  National  Conference  of  Charities 
and  Correction,  and  the  American  Federation  of  Labor. 





Immigration :  A  Field  Neglected  by  the  Scholar,  by  Jane  Addams,  LL.  D., 

Hull  House,  Chicago 3 


Colonization  and  Immigration,  by  Edward  Everett 23 

Immigration  —  A  Review,  by  Henry  Cabot  Lodge,  LL.D 50 

X"  History  of  Immigration,  by  Prescott  F.  Hall,  LL.  B.,  Secretary,  Immi- 
gration Restriction  League,  Boston 61 


Causes  of  Emigration.    United  States  Immigration  Commission   ...       69 



Emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom,  by  Stanley  C.  Johnson     ...       95 
German  Immigration,  by  Gustavus  Ohlinger 125 


Jewish  Immigration  to  the  United  States,  by  Samuel  Joseph,  Ph.D., 

Commercial  High  School,  Brooklyn 136 

The  Coming  of  the  Italian,  by  John  Foster  Carr,  Director,  Immigrant 

Publication  Society,  New  York 141 

The  Newer  Slavic  Immigration,  by  Emily  Greene  Balch,  formerly  Pro- 
fessor of  Political  and  Social  Science,  Wellesley  College  .  .  .  .  155 


Japanese  Immigration,  by  H.  A.  Millis,  Professor  of  Economics,  Uni- 
versity of  Kansas 1 70 

Chinese  Immigration.    United  States  Immigration  Commission     .     .     .  190 

Chinese  Immigration,  by  Kee  Owyang,  Former  Consul  at  San  Francisco  200 




A  Twenty-five  Years'  with  the  New  Immigrant,  by  Edward  A.  Steiner, 

*  Professor  of  Applied  Christianity,  Grinnell  College 204 

Immigrants  in  Cities,  by  E.  A.  Goldenweiser,  United  States  Immigration 

Commission 216 

The  Immigrant  Woman,  by  Kate  Waller  Barrett,  M.  D.,  Special  Agent, 

United  States  Immigration  Commission 224 

V.   EFFECTS     ' 

d  Effects  of  Immigration,  by  Leon  Marshall,  Professor  of  Political 

Economy,  University  of  Chicago 231 

Economic :  Immigration  and  the  Minimum  Wage,  by  Paul  U.  Kellogg, 

A.  M.,  Editor  of  The  Survey 242 

Economic  :  Immigration  and  the  Living  Wage,  by  John  Mitchell      .     .     255 
Economic :  Immigration  and  Crises,  by  Henry  Pratt  Fairchild,  Professor 

of  the  Science  of  Society,  Yale  University      .........     264 

ial  Problems  of  Recent  Immigration,  by  Jeremiah  W.  Jenks,  LL.  D., 
and  W.  Jett  Lauck,  of  the  United  States  Immigration  Commission     276 
Immigration  and  Health,  by  Alfred  C.  Reed,  M.  D.,  United  States 

Public  Health  and  Marine  Hospital  Service 299 

Immigration  and  Crime,  by  Isaac  A.  Hourwich,  Ph.  D 309 

Political  Consequences  of  Immigration,  by  Edward  Alsworth  Ross,  Pro- 
fessor of  Sociology,  University  of  Wisconsin 319 




Federal  Immigration  Legislation.  United  States  Immigration  Commission  326 

Restriction  of  Immigration,  by  General  Francis  A.  Walker  ....  360 
The  Selection  of  Immigrants,  by  Edward  T.  Devine,  LL.  D.,  Director, 

New  York  School  of  Philanthropy  ...........  373 

The  Literacy  Test  :  Three  Historic  Vetoes,  by  Grover  Cleveland,  William 

H.  Taft,  and  Woodrow  Wilson  ............  376 

The  Immigration  Law  of  1917  ..............  381 

Future  Human  Migrations,  by  F.  J.  Haskin  .........  420 




Americans  and  our  Policies,  by  Lillian  D.  Wald 427 

The  Immigrant  and  the  State 

A.  The  work  of   the   California  Commission   of    Immigration  and 

Housing 440 

B.  The  work  of  the  Massachusetts  Bureau  of  Immigration  ....     474 

.  .       VIII.   DISTRIBUTION 

Immigration  and  Distribution,  by  J.  E.  Milholland,  Publicist  ....  497 

Distribution  of  Agricultural  Immigrants,  from  The  Survey 502 

Distribution  of  Immigrants  in  the  United  States,  by  Walter  F.  Willcox, 

Professor  of  Economics  and  Statistics,  Cornell  University  .  .  .  505 
Schemes  to  "  Distribute  "  Immigrants,  by  Samuel  Gompers,  President, 

American  Federation  of  Labor 52^ 

Governmental  Distribution  of  Immigrants.  United  States  Bureau  of 

Immigration 549 


^The  Education  of  Immigrants,  by  H.  H.  Wheaton,  Specialist  in  Immi- 
grant Education 567 

X  Schooling  of  the  Immigrant,  by  Frank  V.  Thompson,  Superintendent, 

Boston  Public  Schools 582 


The  Naturalization  of  Foreigners,  by  R.  E.  Cole,  Counsel  on  Naturaliza- 
tion for  Committee  for  Immigrants  in  America 600 

The  International  College  for  Immigrants,  by  Henry  M.  Bowden,  Pro- 
fessor of  English,  American  International  College  for  Immigrants, 
Springfield,  Massachusetts 607 


Address  at  Convention  Hall,  Philadelphia,  May  10,  1915,  by  Woodrow 

Wilson 611 

What  America  Means,  by  the  Honorable  Franklin  K.  Lane,  Secretary 

of  the  Interior  615 



Americanization,  by  P.  P.  Claxton,  Commissioner  of  Education    .     .     .  621 

What  is  Americanization  ?  by  Frances  A.  Kellor,  LL.  B.      .     .  '  .     .     .  623 

True  Americanism,  by  Louis  D.  Brandeis,  Justice  of  Supreme  Court     .  639 

Americanism,  by  Theodore  Roosevelt 645 

What  America  Means  to  the  Immigrant,  by  Philip  Davis,  Lecturer  on 

Immigration  and  Americanization,  Boston  University 66 1 


National  Americanization  Conference 702 

Americanization,  by  Richard  K.  Campbell,  United  States  Commissioner 

of  Naturalization 673 

Human  Documents:  Polish  Peasant  Letters 741 


INDEX 767 





IT  IS,  perhaps,  well  to  rid  myself  at  once  of  some  of  the  impli- 
cations of  this  rather  overwhelming  title  by  stating  that  it 
is  not  the  purpose  of  this  short  address  to  enter  into  a  discussion 
concerning  the  restriction  or  non-restriction  of  immigration, 
not  to  attempt  to  analyze  those  astounding  figures  annually 
published  from  Ellis  Island;  neither  do  I  wish  to  charge  the 
scholar  with  having  neglected  to  collect  information  as  to  the 
extent  and  growth  of  immigration  in  the  United  States,  nor  in 
failing  to  furnish  statistical  material  as  fully  perhaps  as  the 
shifting  character  of  the  subject  permits.  Such  formal  studies 
as  we  have  on  the  annual  colonies  of  immigrants  in  American 
cities,  and  of  the  effect  of  immigration  in  districts  similar  to  the 
anthracite  coal  regions,  have  been  furnished  by  university  men ; 
indeed,  almost  the  only  accurate  study  into  the  nationalities 
and  locations  of  the  immigrants  in  Chicago  has  been  made  by  a 
member  of  this  University. 

But  in  confining  the  subject  to  a  scrutiny  of  the  oft-repeated 
statement  that  we  as  a  nation  are  rapidly  reaching  the  limit  of 
our  powers  of  assimilation,  that  we  receive  further  masses  of 
immigrants  at  the  risk  of  blurring  those  traits  and  characteristics 
which  we  are  pleased  to  call  American,  with  its  corollary  that 
the  national  standard  of  living  is  in  danger  of  permanent  debase- 
ment, a  certain  further  demand  may  legitimately  be  made  upon 
the  scholar.  I  hope  to  be  able  to  sustain  the  contention  that 
such  danger  as  exists  arises  from  intellectual  dearth  and  apathy ; 
that  we  are  testing  our  national  life  by  a  tradition  too  provincial 

1  Convocation  Address  at  the  University  of  Chicago.  Printed  in  The  Commons, 
Vol.  X.,  No.  i,  January,  1905. 


and  limited  to  meet  its  present  motley  and  cosmopolitan  char- 
acter ;  that  we  lack  mental  energy,  adequate  knowledge,  and  a 
sense  of  the  youth  of  the  earth. 


The  constant  cry  that  American  institutions  are  in  danger 
betrays  a  spiritual  waste,  not  due  to  our  infidelity  to  national 
ideals,  but  arising  from  the  fact  that  we  fail  to  enlarge  those 
ideals  in  accord  with  our  faithful  experience  of  life ;  and  that 
our  political  machinery,  devised  for  quite  other  conditions,  has 
not  been  readjusted  and  adapted  to  the  successive  changes 
resulting  from  our  industrial  development.  The  clamor  for  the 
town  meeting,  for  the  colonial  and  early-century  ideals  of  gov- 
ernment is  in  itself  significant,  for  we  know  out  of  our  personal 
experience  that  we  quote  the  convictions  and  achievements  of 
the  past  as  an  excuse  for  our  inaction  in  moments  when  the 
current  of  life  runs  low ;  that  one  of  the  dangers  of  life,  one  of 
its  veritable  moral  pits,  consists  in  the  temptation  to  remain 
constant  to  a  truth  when  we  no  longer  wholly  believe  it,  when 
its  implications  are  not  justified  by  our  latest  information.  If 
the  immigration  situation  contains  the  elements  of  an  intellectual 
crisis,  then  to  let  the  scholar  off  with  the  mere  collecting  of 
knowledge,  or  yet  with  its  transmission,  or  indeed  to  call  his 
account  closed  with  that  still  higher  function  of  research,  would 
be  to  throw  away  one  of  our  most  valuable  assets. 


In  a  sense  the  enormous  and  unprecedented  moving  about  over 
the  face  of  the  earth  on  the  part  of  all  nations  is  in  itself  the 
result  of  philosophic  dogma,  of  the  creed  of  individual  liberty. 
The  modern  system  of  industry  and  commerce  presupposes 
freedom  of  occupation,  of  travel  and  residence;  even  more,  it 
unhappily  rests  in  a  large  measure  upon  the  assumption  of  a 
body  of  the  unemployed  and  the  unskilled,  ready  to  be  absorbed 
or  dropped  according  to  the  demands  of  production ;  but  back 
of  that,  or  certainly  preceding  its  later  developments,  lies  "the 
natural  right"  doctrine  of  the  eighteenth  century.  Even  so 


late  as  1892,  an  official  treaty  of  the  United  States  referred  to 
the  "  inalienable  right  of  man  to  change  his  residence  and  reli- 
gion." This  dogma  of  the  schoolmen,  dramatized  in  France 
and  penetrating  under  a  thousand  forms  into  the  most  backward 
European  states,  is  still  operating  as  an  obscure  force  in  sending 
emigrants  to  America,  and  in  our  receiving  them  here.  But  in 
the  second  century  of  its  existence  it  has  become  too  barren  and 
chilly  to  induce  any  really  zealous  or  beneficent  activity  on 
behalf  of  the  immigrants  after  they  arrive,  and  those  things 
which  we  do  believe  —  such  convictions  as  we  have,  and  which 
might  be  formulated  to  the  immeasurable  benefit  of  the  immi- 
grants, and  to  the  everlasting  good  of  our  national  life  —  have 
not  yet  been  apprehended  by  the  scholar  in  relation  to  this 
field.  They  have  furnished  us  with  no  method  by  which  to  dis- 
cover men,  to  spiritualize,  to  understand,  to  hold  intercourse 
with  aliens  and  to  receive  of  what  they  bring. 


A  century-old  abstraction  breaks  down  before  this  vigorous 
test  of  concrete  cases,  the  Italian  lazzaroni,  the  peasants  from 
the  Carpathian  foothills,  and  the  proscribed  traders  from  Galatia. 
We  have  no  national  ideality  founded  upon  realism  and  tested 
by  our  growing  experience,  but  only  the  platitudes  of  our  crudest 
youth  with  which  to  meet  the  situation.  The  philosophers  and 
statesmen  of  the  eighteenth  century  believed  that  the  universal 
franchise  would  cure  all  ills ;  that  fraternity  and  equality  rested 
only  upon  constitutional  rights  and  privileges.  The  first  polit- 
ical document  of  America  opens  with  this  philosophy  and  upon 
it  the  founders  of  a  new  state  ventured  their  fortunes.  We  still 
keep  to  this  formalization  because  the  philosophers  of  this  gen- 
eration give  us  nothing  newer,  ignoring  the  fact  that  the  world- 
wide problems  are  no  longer  abstractly  political,  but  politico- 
industrial.  If  we  could  frankly  face  the  proposition  that  the 
whole  situation  is  more  industrial  than  political,  then  we  would 
realize  that  the  officers  of  the  government  who  are  dealing  with 
naturalization  papers  and  testing  the  knowledge  of  the  immi- 
grants concerning  the  constitution  of  the  United  States  are  only 


playing  with  counters  representing  the  beliefs  of  a  century  ago, 
while  the  real  issues  are  being  settled  by  the  great  industrial 
and  commercial  interests  which  are  at  once  the  product  and  the 
masters  of  our  contemporary  life.  As  children  who  are  allowed 
to  amuse  themselves  with  poker  chips  pay  no  attention  to  the 
real  game  which  their  elders  play  with  the  genuine  cards  in  their 
hands,  so  we  shut  our  eyes  to  the  exploitation  and  industrial 
debasement  of  the  immigrant,  and  say  with  placid  contentment 
that  he  has  been  given  the  rights  of  an  American  citizen,  and 
that,  therefore,  all  our  obligations  have  been  fulfilled.  It  is  as 
if  we  should  undertake  to  cure  our  current  political  corruption 
which  is  founded  upon  a  disregard  of  the  interstate  commerce 
acts  by  requiring  the  recreant  citizens  to  repeat  the  constitution 
of  the  United  States. 


As  yet  no  vigorous  effort  is  made  to  discover  how  far  our 
present  system  of  naturalization,  largely  resting  upon  laws 
enacted  in  1802,  is  inadequate,  although  it  may  have  met  the 
requirements  of  "the  fathers."  These  processes  were  devised 
to  test  new  citizens  who  had  emigrated  to  the  United  States 
from  political  rather  than  from  economic  pressure,  although 
these  two  have  always  been  in  a  certain  sense  coextensive.  Yet 
the  early  Irish  came  to  America  to  seek  an  opportunity  for  self- 
government  denied  them  at  home,  the  Germans  and  Italians 
started  to  come  in  largest  numbers  after  the  absorption  of  their 
smaller  states  into  the  larger  nations,  and  the  immigrants  from 
Russia  are  the  conquered  Poles,  Lithuanians,  Finns,  and  Jews. 
On  some  such  obscure  notion  the  processes  of  naturalization 
were  worked  out,  and  with  a  certain  degree  of  logic  these  first 
immigrants  were  presented  with  the  constitution  of  the  United 
States  as  a  type  and  epitome  of  that  which  they  had  come  to 
seek.  So  far  as  they  now  come  in  search  of  political  liberty, 
as  many  of  them  do  every  day,  the  test  is  still  valid ;  but  in  the 
meantime  we  cannot  ignore  those  significant  figures  .which  show 
emigration  to  rise  with  periods  of  depression  in  given  countries, 
and  immigration  to  be  checked  by  periods  of  depression  in 
America,  and  we  refuse  to  see  how  largely  the  question  has 


become  an  economic  one.  At  the  present  moment,  as  we  know, 
the  actual  importing  of  immigrants  is  left  largely  to  the  energy  of 
steamship  companies  and  to  those  agents  for  contract  labor  who 
are  keen  enough  to  avoid  the  restrictive  laws.  The  business  man 
here  is  again  in  the  saddle  as  he  is  so  largely  in  American  affairs. 


From  the  time  that  they  first  ma"ke  the  acquaintance  of  the 
steamship  agent  in  their  own  villages,  at  least  until  a  grandchild 
is  born  on  the  new  soil,  the  immigrants  are  subjected  to  various 
processes  of  exploitation  from  purely  commercial  and  self-seeking 
interests.  It  begins  with  the  representatives  of  the  trans-Atlantic 
lines  and  their  allies,  who  convert  the  peasant  holdings  into 
money  and  provide  the  prospective  emigrants  with  needless 
supplies.  The  brokers  in  manufactured  passports  send  their 
clients  by  successive  stages  for  a  thousand  miles  to  a  port  suit- 
ing their  purposes.  On  the  way  the  emigrants'  eyes  are  treated 
that  they  may  pass  the  physical  test,  they  are  taught  to  read 
sufficiently  well  to  meet  the  literacy  test,  they  are  lent  enough 
money  to  escape  the  pauper  test,  and  by  the  time  they  have 
reached  America,  they  are  sp  hopelessly  in  debt  that  it  takes 
them  months  to  work  out  all  they  have  received,  during  which 
time  they  are  completely  under  the  control  of  the  last  broker  in 
the  line,  who  has  his  dingy  office  in  an  American  city.  The 
exploitation  continues  under  the  employment  agency  whose 
operations  merge  into  those  of  the  politician,  through  the  natu- 
ralization henchman,  the  petty  lawyers  who  foment  their  quarrels 
and  grievances  by  the  statement  that  in  a  free  country  every- 
body "goes  to  law,"  by  the  liquor  dealers  who  stimulate  a  lively 
trade  among  them ;  and  finally  by  the  lodging-house  keepers  and 
the  landlords  who  are  not  obliged  to  give  them  the  housing  which 
the  American  tenant  demands.  It  is  a  long,  dreary  road  and  the 
immigrant  is  successfully  exploited  at  every  turn.  At  moments 
one  looking  on  is  driven  to  quote  the  Titanic  plaint  of  Walt 
Whitman : 

As  I  stand  aloof  and  look  there  is  to  me  something  profoundly 
affecting  in  large  masses  of  men  following  the  lead  of  those  who  do 
not  believe  in  men. 



The  sinister  aspect  of  this  exploitation  lies  in  the  fact  that  it 
is  carried  on  by  agents  whose  stock  in  trade  are  the  counters 
and  terms  of  citizenship.  It  is  said  that  at  the  present  moment 
there  are  more  of  these  agents  in  Palermo  than  perhaps  in  any 
other  European  port,  and  that  those  politicians  who  have  found 
it  impossible  to  stay  even  in  that  corrupt  city  are  engaged  in 
the  brokerage  of  naturalization  papers  in  the  United  States,  that 
certainly  one  effect  of  the  stringent  contract-labor  laws  has  been 
to  make  the  padrones  more  powerful  because  "smuggled  alien 
labor"  has  become  more  valuable  to  American  corporations, 
and  also  to  make  simpler  the  delivery  of  commercial  interests. 
It  becomes  a  veritable  system  of  poisoning  the  notions  of  decent 
government  because  the  entire  process  is  carried  on  in  political 
terms,  our  childish  red,  white,  and  blue  poker  chips  again ! 

More  elaborate  avoidance  of  restrictive  legislation  quickly 
adapts  itself  to  changes  either  in  legislation  here  or  at  the  points 
of  departure ;  for  instance,  a  new  type  of  broker  in  Russia  at 
the  present  moment  is  making  use  of  the  war  in  the  interests 
of  young  Russian  Jews.  If  one  of  these  men  should  leave  the 
country  ordinarily,  his  family  would  be  obliged  to  pay  three 
hundred  rubles  to  the  government,  but  if  he  first  joins  the  army 
his  family  is  free  from  this  obligation  for  he  has  passed  into  the 
keeping  of  his  sergeant.  Out  of  four  hundred  Russian  Jews  who 
three  months  ago  were  drafted  into  the  army  at  a  given  recruit- 
ing station,  only  ten  reported,  the  rest  having  escaped  through 
immigration.  Of  course  the  entire  undertaking  is  much  more 
hazardous  because  the  man  is  a  deserter  from  the  army  in  addi- 
tion to  his  other  disabilities,  but  the  brokers  merely  put  up  the 
price  of  their  services  and  continue  their  undertakings.  Do  we 
ignore  the  one  million  false  naturalization  papers  in  the  United 
States  issued  and  concealed  by  commercialized  politics,  in  the 
interests  of  our  uneasy  knowledge  that  commercial  and  govern- 
mental powers  are  curiously  allied,  although  we  profess  that  the 
latter  has  no  connection  with  the  former  and  no  control  over  it  ? 

The  man  who  really  knows  immigrants  and  undertakes  to 
naturalize  them  makes  no  pretense  of  the  lack  of  connection 
between  the  two.  The  petty  and  often  corrupt  politician  who 


is  first  kind  to  them  realizes  perfectly  well  that  the  force  pushing 
them  here  has  been  industrial' need  and  that  its  recognition  is 
legitimate.  He  follows  the  natural  course  of  events  when  he 
promises  to  get  the  immigrant  "a  job,"  for  that  is  certainly  what 
he  most  needs  in  all  the  world.  If  the  politician  nearest  to  him 
were  really  interested  in  the  immigrant  and  should  work  out  a 
scheme  of  naturalization  fitted  to  the  situation,  he  would  go  on 
from  the  street-cleaning  and  sewer-digging  in  which  the  immi- 
grant first  engages  to  an  understanding  of  the  relation  of  those 
simple  offices  to  city  government,  to  the  obligation  of  his  alder- 
man to  secure  cleanliness  for  the  streets  in  which  his  children 
play  and  for  the  tenement  in  which  he  lives.  The  notion  of 
representative  government  should  be  made  quite  clear  and  con- 
crete to  him.  He  could  demand  his  rights  and  use  his  vote  in 
order  to  secure  them.  His  very  naive  demands  might  easily 
become  a  restraint,  a  purifying  check  upon  the  alderman,  instead 
of  a  source  of  constant  corruption  and  exploitation.  But  when 
the  politician  attempts  to  naturalize  the  bewildered  immigrant, 
he  must  perforce  accept  the  doctrinaire  standard  imposed  by 
men  who  held  a  theory  totally  unattached  to  experience,  and  he 
must  therefore  begin  with  the  remote  constitution  of  the  United 
States.  At  the  Cook  County  Courthouse  only  a  few  weeks  ago, 
a  candidate  for  naturalization  who  was  asked  the  usual  question 
as  to  what  the  constitution  of  the  United  States  was  replied: 
"The  Illinois  Central."  His  mind  naturally  turned  to  his  work, 
to  the  one  bit  of  contribution  he  had  genuinely  made  to  the  new 
country,  and  his  reply  might  well  offer  a  valuable  suggestion 
to  the  student  of  educational  method.  The  School  of  Education 
of  this  University  makes  industrial  construction  and  evolution 
a  natural  basis  for  all  future  acquisition  of  knowledge  and  claims 
that  anything  less  vital  and  creative  is  inadequate. 


It  is  surprising  how  a  simple  experience,  if  it  be  but  genuine, 
affords  an  opening  into  citizenship  altogether  lacking  to  the  more 
grandiose  attempts.  A  Greek-American  who  slaughters  sheep 
in  a  tenement-house  yard  on  the  basis  of  the  Homeric  tradition 
can  be  made  to  see  the  effect  of  the  improvised  shambles  on  his 


neighbors'  health  and  the  right  of  the  city  to  prohibit  him  only 
as  he  perceives  the  development  of  city  government  upon  its 
most  modern  basis. 

The  enforcement  of  adequate  child-labor  laws  offers  unending 
opportunity  for  better  citizenship,  founded  not  upon  theory 
but  on  action.  An  Italian  or  Bohemian  parent  who  has  worked 
in  the  fields  from  babyhood  finds  it  difficult  to  understand  that 
the  long  and  monotonous  work  in  factories  in  which  his  child 
engages  is  much  more  exigent  than  the  intermittent  outdoor 
labor  required  from  him;  that  the  need  for  education  for  his 
child  is  a  matter  of  vital  importance  to  his  adopted  city,  which 
has  enacted  definite,  well-considered  legislation  in  regard  to  it. 
Some  of  the  most  enthusiastic  supporters  of  child-labor  legis- 
lation and  compulsory  education  laws  are  those  parents  who 
sacrifice  old-world  tradition  as  well  as  the  much  needed  earnings 
of  their  young  children  because  of  loyalty  to  the  laws  of  their 
adopted  country.  Certainly  genuine  sacrifice  for  the  nation's 
law  is  a  good  foundation  for  patriotism,  and  as  this  again  is  not 
a  doctrinaire  question,  women  are  not  debarred,  and  mothers 
who  wash  and  scrub  for  the  meager  support  of  their  children 
say  sturdily  sometimes,  "It  will  be  a  year  before  he  can  go  to 
work  without  breaking  the  law,  but  we  came  to  this  country 
to  give  the  young  ones  a  change  and  we  are  not  going  to  begin 
by  having  them  do  what's  not  right." 

Upon  some  such  basis  as  this  the  Hebrew  Alliance  and  the 
Charity  Organization  Society  of  New  York,  which  are  putting 
forth  desperate  energy  in  the  enormous  task  of  ministering  to 
the  suffering  that  immigration  entails,  are  developing  under- 
standing and  respect  for  the  alien  through  their  mutual  efforts 
to  secure  more  adequate  tenement-house  regulation,  and  to 
control  the  spread  of  tuberculosis,  both  of  these  undertakings 
being  perfectly  hopeless  without  the  intelligent  cooperation  of 
the  immigrants  themselves.  Through  such  humble  doors  as 
these  perchance  the  immigrant  may  enter  into  his  heritage  in 
a  new  nation.  Democratic  government  has  always  been  the 
result  of  spiritual  travail  and  moral  effort;  apparently  even 
here  the  immigrant  must  pay  the  cost. 



As  we  fail  to  begin  with  his  experience  in  the  induction  of  the 
adult  immigrant  into  practical  citizenship,  so  we  assume  in  our 
formal  attempts  to  teach  patriotism  that  experience  and  tradi- 
tions have  no  value,  and  that  a  new  sentiment  must  be  put  into 
aliens  by  some  external  process.  Some  years  ago  a  public-spirited 
organization  engaged  a  number  of  speakers  to  go  to  the  various 
city  schools  in  order  to  instruct  the  children  in  the  significance 
of  Decoration  Day  and  to  foster  patriotism  among  the  foreign- 
born  by  descriptions  of  the  Civil  War.  In  one  of  the  schools 
filled  with  Italian  children,  an  old  soldier,  a  veteran  in  years  and 
experience,  gave  a  description  of  a  battle  in  Tennessee,  and  his 
personal  adventures  in  using  a  pile  of  brush  as  an  ambuscade 
and  a  fortification.  Coming  from  the  schoolhouse  an  eager 
young  Italian  broke  out  with  characteristic  vividness  into  a 
description  of  his  father's  campaigning  under  the  leadership  of 
Garibaldi,  possibly  from  some  obscure  notion  that  that  too  was  a 
civil  .war  fought  from  principle,  but  more  likely  because  the 
description  of  one  battle  had  roused  in  his  mind  the  memory  of 
another  such  description.  The  lecturer,  whose  sympathies 
happened  to  be  on  the  other  side  of  the  Garibaldian  conflict, 
somewhat  sharply  told  him  that  he  must  forget  all  that,  that 
he  was  no  longer  an  Italian,  but  an  American.  The  natural 
growth  of  patriotism  upon  respect  for  the  achievements  of  one's 
fathers,  the  bringing  together  of  the  past  with  the  present,  the 
pointing  out  of  the  almost  world-wide  effort  at  a  higher  standard 
of  political  freedom  which  swept  over  all  Europe  and  America 
between  1848  and  1872  could,  of  course,  have  no  place  in  the 
boy's  mind,  because  it  had  none  in  the  mind  of  the  instructor, 
whose  patriotism  apparently  tried  to  purify  itself  by  the  American 
process  of  elimination. 


How  far  a  certain  cosmopolitan  humanitarianism  ignoring 
national  differences  is  either  possible  or  desirable,  it  is  difficult 
to  state,  but  certain  it  is  that  the  old  type  of  patriotism  founded 
upon  a  common  national  history  and  land  occupation  becomes 


to  many  of  the  immigrants  who  bring  it  with  them  a  veritable 
stumbling  block  and  impedimenta.  Many  Greeks  whom  I 
know  are  fairly  besotted  with  a  consciousness  of  their  national 
importance,  and  the  achievements  of  their  glorious  past.  Among 
them  the  usual  effort  to  found  a  new  patriotism  upon  American 
history  is  often  an  absurd  undertaking;  for  instance,  on  the 
night  of  last  Thanksgiving  I  spent  some  time  and  zeal  in  a  descrip- 
tion of  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  the  motives  which  had  driven  them 
across  the  sea,  while  the  experiences  of  the  Plymouth  colony 
were  illustrated  by  stereopticon  slides  and  little  dramatic  scenes. 
The  audience  of  Greeks  listened  respectfully,  although  I  was 
uneasily  conscious  of  the  somewhat  feeble  attempt  to  boast  of 
Anglo-Saxon  achievement  in  hardihood  and  privation  to  men 
whose  powers  of  admiration  were  absorbed  in  their  Greek  back- 
ground of  philosophy  and  beauty.  At  any  rate  after  the  lecture 
was  over  one  of  the  Greeks  said  to  me  quite  simply,  "I  wish  I 
could  describe  my  ancestors  to  you;  they  were  different  from 
yours."  His  further  remarks  were  translated  by  a  little  Irish 
boy  of  eleven  who  speaks  modern  Greek  with  facility  and  turns 
many  an  honest  penny  by  translating,  into  the  somewhat  pert 
statement:  "He  says  if  that  is  what  your  ancestors  are  like, 
that  his  could  beat  them  out."  It  is  a  good  illustration  of  our 
faculty  for  ignoring  the  past,  and  of  our  failure  to  understand  the 
immigrant  estimation  of  ourselves.  This  lack  of  a  more  cosmo- 
politan standard,  of  a  consciousness  of  kind  founded  upon  creative 
imagination  and  historic  knowledge,  is  apparent  in  many  direc- 
tions, and  cruelly  widens  the  gulf  between  immigrant  fathers 
and  children  who  are  "Americans  in  process." 

A  hideous  story  comes  from  New  York  of  a  young  Russian 
Jewess  who  was  employed  as  a  stenographer  in  a  down-town 
office,  where  she  became  engaged  to  be  married  to  a  young  man 
of  Jewish-American  parentage.  She  felt  keenly  the  difference 
between  him  and  her  newly  immigrated  parents,  and  on  the  night 
when  he  was  to  be  presented  to  them  she  went  home  early  to 
make  every  possible  preparation  for  his  coming.  Her  efforts 
to  make  the  menage  presentable  were  so  discouraging,  the  whole 
situation  filled  her  with  such  chagrin,  that  an  hour  before  his 
expected  arrival  she  ended  her  own  life.  Although  the  father 


was  a  Talmud  scholar  of  standing  in  his  native  Russian  town, 
and  the  lover  was  a  clerk  of  very  superficial  attainment,  she 
possessed  no  standard  by  which  to  judge  the  two  men.  This 
lack  of  standard  can  be  charged  to  the  entire  community,  for 
why  should  we  expect  an  untrained  girl  to  be  able  to  do  for  her- 
self what  the  community  so  pitifully  fails  to  accomplish  ? 


As  scholarship  in  the  first  half  of  the  nineteenth  century  saved  ^ 
literature  from  a  futile  romanticism  and  transformed  its  entire 
method  by  the  perception  that  "the  human  is  not  of  necessity 
the  cultivated ;  the  human  is  the  wide-spread,  the  ancient  in 
speech  or  in  behavior,  it  is  the  deep,  the  emotional,  the  thing 
much  loved  by  many  men,  the  poetical,  the  organic,  the  vital, 
in  civilization,"  so  I  would  ask  the  scholarship  of  this  dawning 
century  to  save  its  contemporaries  from  materialism  by  revealing 
to  us  the  inherent  charm  and  resource  of  the  humblest  men. 
Equipped  as  it  is  with  the  training  and  the  " unspecialized  cell" 
of  evolutionary  science,  this  ought  not  to  prove  an  undesirable 
task.  The  scholar  has  already  pointed  out  to  us  the  sweetness 
and  charm  which  inhere  in  primitive  domestic  customs  and  shows 
us  the  curious  pivot  they  make  for  religious  and  tribal  beliefs 
until  the  simple  action  of  women  grinding  millet  or  corn  becomes 
almost  overladen  with  penetrating  reminiscence,  sweeter  than 
the  chant  they  sing.  Something  of  the  same  quality  may  be 
found  among  many  of  the  immigrants ;  when  one  stumbles  upon 
an  old  Italian  peasant  with  her  distaff  against  her  withered  face 
and  her  pathetic  old  hands  patiently  holding  the  thread,  as  has 
been  done  by  myriads  of  women  since  children  needed  to  be  clad ; 
or  an  old  German  potter,  misshapen  by  years,  but  his  sensitive 
hands  fairly  alive  with  the  artist's  prerogative  of  direct  creation, 
one  wishes  that  the  scholar  might  be  induced  to  go  man  hunting 
into  these  curious  human  groups  called  newly  arrived  immigrants ! 
Could  he  take  these  primitive  habits  as  they  are  to  be  found 
in  American  cities  every  day,  and  give  them  their  significance 
and  place,  they  would  be  a  wonderful  factor  for  poesy  in  cities 
frankly  given  over  to  industrialism,  and  candidly  refusing  to  read 
poetry  which  has  no  connection  with  its  aims  and  activities.  As  a 


McAndrews'  hymn  may  express  the  frantic  rush  of  the  industrial 
river,  so  these  could  give  us  some  thing  of  the  mysticism  and  charm 
of  the  industrial  springs,  a  suggestion  of  source,  a  touch  of  the 
refinement  which  adheres  to  simple  things.  This  study  of  origins, 
of  survivals,  of  paths  of  least  resistance  refining  an  industrial 
age  through  the  people  and  experiences  which  really  belong  to 
it  and  do  not  need  to  be  brought  in  from  the  outside,  surely  affords 
an  opening  for  scholarship. 


The  present  lack  of  understanding,  the  dearth  of  the  illumina- 
tion which  knowledge  gives  can  be  traced  not  only  in  the  social 
and  political  maladjustment  of  the  immigrant,  but  is  felt  in 
so-called  " practical  affairs"  of  national  magnitude.  Regret  is 
many  times  expressed  that,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  nine 
out  of  every  ten  immigrants  are  of  rural  birth,  they  all  tend  to 
congregate  in  cities  where  their  inherited  and  elaborate  knowl- 
edge of  agricultural  processes  is  unutilized,  although  they  are 
fitted  to  undertake  the  painstaking  method  which  American  farm- 
ers despise.  But  it  is  characteristic  of  American  complacency 
that  when  any  assisted  removal  to  agricultural  regions  is  con- 
templated, we  utterly  ignore  their  past  experiences  and  always 
assume  that  each  family  will  be  content  to  live  in  the  middle  of 
its  own  piece  of  ground,  although  there  are  few  peoples  on  the 
face  of  the  earth  who  have  ever  tried  isolating  a  family  on  a 
hundred  and  sixty  acres  or  eighty,  or  even  on  forty,  but  this  is 
the  American  way,  a  survival  of  our  pioneer  days,  and  we  refuse 
to  modify  it,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  South  Italians 
from  the  day  of  medieval  incursions  have  lived  in  compact 
villages  with  an  intense  and  elaborate  social  life,  so  much  of  it 
out-of-doors  and  interdependent  that  it  has  affected  almost 
every  domestic  habit.  Italian  women  knead  their  own  bread 
but  depend  on  the  village  oven  for  its  baking,  and  the  men  would 
rather  walk  for  miles  to  their  fields  each  day  than  to  face  an 
evening  of  companionship  limited  to  the  family.  Nothing 
could  afford  a  better  check  to  the  constant  removal  to  the  cities 
of  the  farming  population  all  over  the  United  States  than  to  be 
able  to  combine  community  life  with  agricultural  occupation, 


affording  that  development  of  civilization  which  curiously  enough 
density  alone  brings  and  for  which  even  a  free  system  of  rural 
delivery  is  not  an  adequate  substitute.  Much  of  the  significance 
and  charm  of  rural  life  in  South  Italy  lies  in  its  village  compan- 
ionship quite  as  the  dreariness  of  the  American  farm  life  inheres 
in  its  unnecessary  solitude.  But  we  totally  disregard  the  solu- 
tion which  the  old  agricultural  community  offers,  and  our  utter 
lack  of  adaptability  has  something  to  do  with  the  fact  that  the 
South  Italian  remains  in  the  city  where  he  soon  forgets  his  cunning 
in  regard  to  silk  worms  and  olive  trees,  but  continues  his  old 
social  habits  to  the  extent  of  filling  an  entire  tenement  house 
with  the  people  from  one  village. 


We  also  exhibit  all  the  Anglo-Saxon  distrust  of  any  experi- 
ment with  land  tenure  or  method  of  taxation,  although  the  single 
tax  advocates  in  our  midst  do  not  fail  to  tell  us  daily  of  the 
stupidity  of  the  present  arrangement,  and  it  might  be  well  to 
make  a  few  experiments  upon  a  historic  basis  before  their  enthusi- 
asm converts  us  all.  The  Slavic  village,  the  mir  system  of  land 
occupation,  has  been  in  successful  operation  for  centuries  in 
Russia,  training  men  within  its  narrow  limits  to  community 
administration;  and  yet  when  a  persecuted  sect  from  Russia 
wishes  to  find  refuge  in  America  —  and  naturally  seven  thousand 
people  cannot  give  up  all  at  once  even  if  it  were  desirable  a  system 
of  land  ownership  in  which  they  are  expert  and  which  is  singu- 
larly like  that  in  Palestine  during  its  period  of  highest  prosperity 
—  we  cannot  receive  them  in  the  United  States  because  our 
laws  have  no  way  of  dealing  with  such  a  case.  And  in  Canada, 
where  they  are  finally  settled,  the  unimaginative  Dominion 
officials  are  driven  to  the  verge  of  distraction  concerning  regis- 
tration of  deeds  and  the  collection  of  taxes  from  men  who  do 
not  claim  acres  in  their  own  names  but  in  the  name  of  the  vil- 
lage. The  official  distraction  is  reflected  and  intensified  among 
the  people  themselves  to  the  point  of  driving  them  into  the 
medieval  "marching  mania,"  in  the  hope  of  finding  a  land  in 
the  south  where  they  may  carry  out  their  inoffensive  mir 
system.  The  entire  situation  might  prove  that  an  unbending 



theory  of  individualism  may  become  as  fixed  as  status  itself. 
There  are  certainly  other  factors  in  the  Doukhobor  situation 
of  religious  bigotry  and  of  the  self-seeking  of  leadership,  but  in 
spite  of  the  fact  that  the  Canadian  officials  have  in  other  matters 
exhibited  much  of  the  adaptability  which  distinguishes  the 
British  colonial  policy,  they  are  completely  stranded  on  the  rock 
of  Anglo-Saxon  individualistic  ownership,  and  assume  that  any 
other  system  of  land  tenure  is  subversive  of  government,  although 
Russia  manages  to  exert  a  fair  amount  of  governmental  control 
over  thousands  of  acres  held  under  the  system  which  they  detest. 


In  our  eagerness  to  reproach  the  immigrant  for  not  going  upon 
the  land,  we  almost  overlook  the  contributions  to  city  life  which 
those  of  them  who  were  adapted  to  it  in  Europe  are  making  to  our 
cities  here.  From  dingy  little  eating  houses  in  lower  New  York, 
performing  a  function  somewhat  between  the  eighteenth  century 
coffeehouse  and  the  Parisian  cafe,  is  issuing  at  the  present 
moment  perhaps  the  sturdiest  realistic  drama  that  is  being  pro- 
duced on  American  soil.  Late  into  the  night  speculation  is 
carried  forward  not  on  the  nice  questions  of  the  Talmud  and 
quibbles  of  logic,  but  minds  long  trained  on  these  seriously  dis- 
cuss the  need  of  a  readjustment  of  the  industrial  machine  that 
the  primitive  sense  of  justice  and  righteousness  may  secure 
larger  play  in  our  social  organization.  And  yet  a  Russian  in 
Chicago  who  used  to  believe  that  Americans  cared  first  and  fore- 
most for  political  liberty  and  would  certainly  admire  those  who 
had  suffered  in  its  cause  finds  no  one  interested  in  his  story  of 
six  years'  banishment  beyond  the  Antarctic  circle,  and  is  really 
listened  to  only  when  he  tells  to  a  sportsman  the  tale  of  the 
fish  he  caught  during  the  six  weeks  of  summer  when  the  rivers 
were  open.  "  Lively  work  then,  but  plenty  of  time  to  eat  them 
dried  and  frozen  through  the  rest  of  the  year,"  is  the  most  sym- 
pathetic comment  he  has  yet  received  upon  an  experience 
which  at  least  to  him  held  the  bitter-sweet  of  martyrdom. 



Among  the  colonies  of  the  most  recently  immigrated  Jews 
who  still  carry  out  their  orthodox  customs  and  a  ritual  preserved 
through  centuries  in  the  Ghetto,  one  constantly  feels  during  a 
season  of  religious  observance  a  refreshing  insistence  upon  the 
reality  of  the  inner  life,  and  the  dignity  of  its  expression  in  in- 
herited form.  Perhaps  the  most  striking  approach  to  the  ma- 
terialism of  Chicago  is  the  sight  of  a  Chicago  River  bridge  lined 
with  men  and  women  on  one  day  in  the  year  oblivious  of  the 
noisy  traffic  and  sordid  surroundings,  casting  their  sins  upon 
the  waters  that  they  may  be  carried  far  from  them.  That 
obsession  which  the  materialism  of  Chicago  sometimes  makes 
upon  one's  brain  so  that  one  is  almost  driven  to  go  out  upon 
the  street  fairly  shouting  that  after  all  life  does  not  consist  in 
wealth,  in  learning,  in  enterprise,  in  energy,  in  success,  not  even 
in  that  modern  fetish  culture,  but  upon  an  inner  equilibrium, 
"the  agreement  of  soul,"  is  here  for  once  plainly  stated,  and  is 
a  relief  even  in  its  exaggeration  and  grotesqueness. 

The  charge  that  recent  immigration  threatens  to  debase  the 
American  standard  of  living  is  certainly  a  grave  one,  but  I 
would  invite  the  scholar  even  into  that  sterner  region  which  we 
are  accustomed  to  regard  as  purely  industrial.  At  first  glance 
nothing  seems  further  from  an  intellectual  proposition  than  this 
question  of  tin  cups  and  plates  stored  in  a  bunk  versus  a  white 
cloth  and  a  cottage  table,  and  yet,  curiously  enough,  an  English 
writer  has  recently  cited  "standards  of  life"  as  an  illustration 
of  the  fact  that  it  is  ideas  which  mold  the  lives  of  men,  and  states 
that  around  the  deeply  significant  idea  of  the  standard  of  life 
center  our  industrial  problems  of  to-day,  and  that  this  idea  forms 
the  base  of  all  the  forward  movements  of  the  working  class. 
The  significance  of  the  standard  of  life  lies,  not  so  much  in  the 
fact  that  for  each  of  us  it  is  different,  but  that  for  all  of  us  it  is 
progressive,  constantly  invading  new  realms.  To  imagine  that 
all  goes  well  if  sewing  machines  and  cottage  organs  reach  the 
first  generation  of  immigrants,  fashionable  dressmakers  and 
pianos  the  second,  is  of  course  the  most  untutored  interpretation 
of  it.  And  yet  it  is  a  question  of  food  and  shelter,  and  further 
of  the  maintenance  of  industrial  efficiency  and  of  life  itself  to 


thousands  of  men,  and  this  gigantic  task  of  standardizing  suc- 
cessive nations  of  immigrants  falls  upon  workmen  who  lose  all 
if  they  fail. 


Curiously  enough,  however,  as  soon  as  the  immigrant  situa- 
tion is  frankly  regarded  as  an  industrial  one,  the  really  political 
nature  of  the  essentially  industrial  situation  is  revealed  in  the 
fact  that  trade  organizations  which  openly  concern  themselves 
with  the  immigration  problem  on  its  industrial  side  quickly 
take  on  the  paraphernalia  and  machinery  which  have  hitherto 
associated  themselves  with  governmental  life  and  control.  The 
trades-unions  have  worked  out  all  over  again  local  autonomy 
with  central  councils  and  national  representative  bodies  and  the 
use  of  the  referendum  vote.  They  also  exhibit  many  features 
of  political  corruption  and  manipulation  but  they  still  contain 
the  purifying  power  of  reality,  for  the  trades-unions  are  engaged 
in  a  desperate  struggle  to  maintain  a  standard  wage  against  the 
constant  arrival  of  unskilled  immigrants  at  the  rate  of  three 
quarters  of  a  million  a  year,  at  the  very  period  when  the  elabora- 
tion of  machinery  permits  the  largest  use  of  unskilled  men. 
The  first  real  lesson  in  self-government  to  many  immigrants 
has  come  through  the  organization  of  labor  unions,  and  it  could 
come  in  no  other  way,  for  the  union  alone  has  appealed  to  their 
necessities.  And  out  of  these  primal  necessities  one  sees  the 
first  indication  of  an  idealism  of  which  one  at  moments  dares 
to  hope  that  it  may  be  sturdy  enough  and  sufficiently  founded 
upon  experience  to  make  some  impression  upon  the  tremendous 
immigration  situation. 


'To  illustrate  from  the  Stockyards  strike  of  last  summer,  may 
I  quote  from  a  study  made  from  the  University  of  Wisconsin  - 
and  mindful  of  my  audience  all  I  say  of  trades-unions  shall  be 
quoted  from  Ph.D.'s : 

Perhaps  the  fact  of  greatest  social  significance  is  that  the  strike 
of  1904  was  not  merely  a  strike  of  skilled  labor  for  the  unskilled,  but 


was  a  strike  of  Americanized  Irish,  Germans,  and  Bohemians  in  behalf 
of  Slovaks,  Poles,  and  Lithuanians.  .  .  .  This  substitution  of  races 
in  the  Stockyards  has  been  a  continuing  process  for  twenty  years. 
The  older  nationalities  have  already  disappeared  from  the  unskilled 
occupations  and  the  substitution  has  evidently  run  along  the  line  of 
lower  standard  of  living.  The  latest  arrivals,  the  Lithuanians  and 
Slovaks,  are  probably  the  most  oppressed  of  the  peasants  of  Europe. 

Those  who  attended  the  crowded  meetings  of  last  summer 
and  heard  the  same  address  successively  translated  by  inter- 
preters into  six  or  eight  languages,  who  saw  the  respect  shown 
to  the  most  uncouth  of  the  speakers  by  the  skilled  American 
men  who  represented  a  distinctly  superior  standard  of  life  and 
thought,  could  never  doubt  the  power  of  the  labor  organizations 
for  amalgamation,  whatever  opinion  they  might  hold  concern- 
*ing  their  other  values.  This  may  be  said  in  spite  of  the  fact 
that  great  industrial  disturbances  have  arisen  from  the  under- 
cutting of-  wages  by  the  lowering  of  racial  standard.  Certainly 
the  most  notable  of  these  have  taken  place  in  these  industries 
and  at  those  places  in. which  the  importation  of  immigrants 
has  been  deliberately  fostered  as  a  wage-lowering  weapon,  and 
even  in  those  disturbances  and  under  the  shock  and  strain  of  a 
long  strike  disintegration  did  not  come  along  the  line  of  race 


It  may  further,  be  contended  that  this  remarkable  coming 
together  has  been  the  result  of  economic  pressure  and  is  with- 
out merit  or  idealism,  that  the  trades-union  record  on  Chinese 
exclusion  and  negro  discrimination  has  been  damaging,  and 
yet  I  would  quote  from  a  study  of  the  anthracite  coal  fields 
made  from  the  University  of  Pennsylvania : 

The  United  Mine  Workers  of  America  is  taking  men  of  a  score  of 
nationalities  —  English-speaking  and  Slavmen  of  widely  different 
creeds,  languages,  and  customs,  and  of  varying  powers  of  industrial 
competition,  and  is  welding  them  into  an  industrial  brotherhood, 
each  part  of  which  can  at  least  understand  of  the  others  that  they  are 
working  for  one  great  and  common  end.  This  bond  of  unionism  is 
stronger  than  one  can  readily  imagine  who  has  not  seen  its  mysterious 
workings  or  who  has  not  been  a  victim  of  its  members'  newly  found 


enthusiasm.  It  is  to-day  the  strongest  tie  that  can  bind  together 
147,000  mine  workers  and  the  thousands  dependent  upon  them.  It 
is  more  than  religion,  more  than  the  social  ties  which  hold  together 
members  of  the  same  community. 

This  is  from  a  careful  study  by  Mr.  Warne,  which  doubt- 
less many  of  you  know,  called  "  The  Slav  Invasion." 


It  was  during  a  remarkable  struggle  on  the  part  of  this  amal- 
gamation of  men  from  all  countries,  that  the  United  States 
government  in  spite  of  itself  was  driven  to  take  a  hand  in  an 
industrial  situation,  owing  to  the  long  strain  and  the  intolerable 
suffering  entailed  upon  the  whole  country,  but  even  then  public 
opinion  was  too  aroused,  too  moralized  to  be  patient  with  an 
investigation  of  the  mere  commercial  questions  of  tonnage  and 
freight  rates  with  their  political  implications,  and  insisted  that 
the  national  commission  should  consider  the  human  aspects  of 
the  case.  Columns  of  newspapers  and  days  of  investigation  were 
given  to  the  discussion  of  the  deeds  of  violence,  having  nothing 
to  do  with  the  original  demands  of  the  strikers,  and  entering 
only  into  the  value  set  upon  human  life  by  each  of  the  con- 
testing parties;  did  the  union  encourage  violence  against  non- 
union men,  or  did  it  really  do  everything  to  suppress  it,  living 
up  to  its  creed,  which  was  to  maintain  a  standard  of  living  that 
families  might  be  properly  housed  and  fed  and  protected  from 
debilitating  toil  and  disease,  that  children  might  be  nurtured 
into  American  citizenship ;  did  the  operators  protect  their  men 
as  far  as  possible  from  mine  damp,  from  length  of  hours  proven 
by  experience  to  be  exhausting ;  did  they  pay  a  sufficient  wage 
to  the  mine  laborer  to  allow  him  to  send  his  children  to  school ; 
questions  such  as  these,  a  study  of  the  human  problem,  invaded 
the  commission  day  after  day  during  its  sitting.  One  felt  for 
the  moment  the  first  wave  of  a  rising  tide  of  humanitarianism, 
until  the  normal  ideals  of  the  laborer  to  secure  food  and  shelter 
for  his  family  and  security  for  his  old  age,  and  a  larger  opportunity 
for  his  children,  become  the  ideals  of  democratic  government. 



It  may  be  owing  to  the  fact  that  the  working  man  is  brought 
in  direct  contact  with  the  situation  as  a  desperate  problem  of 
living  wage  or  starvation,  it  may  be  that  wisdom  is  at  hef  old 
trick  of  residing  in  the  hearts  of  the  simple,  or  that  this  new 
idealism  which  is  that  of  a  reasonable  life  and  labor  must  from 
the  very  nature  of  things  proceed  from  those  who  labor,  or 
possibly  because  amelioration  arises  whence  it  is  so  sorely  needed, 
but  certainly  it  is  true,  that  while  the  rest  of  the  country  talks 
of  assimilation  as  if  we  were  a  huge  digestive  apparatus,  the  man 
with  whom  the  immigrant  has  come  most  sharply  into  compe- 
tition has  been  forced  into  fraternal  relations  with  him. 

All  the  peoples  of  the  world  have  become  part  of  our  tribunal, 
and  their  sense  of  pity,  their  clamor  for  personal  kindness,  their 
insistence  upon  the  right  to  join  in  our  progress,  cannot  be  dis- 
regarded. The  burdens  and  sorrows  of  men  have  unexpectedly 
become  intelligible  and  urgent  to  this  nation,  and  it  is  only  by 
accepting  them  with  some  magnanimity  that  we  can  develop 
the  larger  sense  of  justice  which  is  becoming  world-wide  and  is 
lying  in  ambush,  as  it  were,  to  manifest  itself  in  governmental 
relations.  Men  of  all  nations  are  determining  upon  the  abolition 
of  degrading  poverty,  disease,  and  intellectual  weakness  with 
their  resulting  industrial  inefficiency.  This  manifests  itself 
in  labor  legislation  in  England,  in  the  Imperial  Sick  and  Old- 
Age  Insurance  Acts  of  Germany,  in  the  enormous  system  of 
public  education  in  the  United  States. 


To  be  afraid  of  it  is  to  lose  what  we  have.  A  government  has 
always  received  feeble  support  from  its  constituents  as  soon  as 
its  demands  appeared  childish  or  remote.  Citizens  inevitably 
neglect  or  abandon  civic  duty  when  it  no  longer  embodies  their 
genuine  desires.  It  is  useless  to  hypnotize  ourselves  by  unreal 
talk  of  colonial  ideals  and  patriotic  duty  toward  immigrants  as 
if  it  were  a  question  of  passing  a  set  of  resolutions.  The  nation 
must  be  saved  by  its  lovers,  by  the  patriots  who  possess  adequate 
and  contemporaneous  knowledge.  A  commingling  of  racial 


habits  and  national  characteristics  in  the  end  must  rest  upon  the 
voluntary  balance  and  concord  of  many  forces. 

We  may  with  justice  demand  from  the  scholar  the  philosophic 
statement,  the  reconstruction  and  reorganization  of  the  knowl- 
edge which  he  possesses,  only  if  we  agree  to  make  it  over  into 
healthy  and  direct  expressions  of  free  living. 




SOCIETY  :  Although  I  appear  before  you  at  the  season  at 
which  the  various  religious,  moral,  and  philanthropic  societies 
usually  hold  their  annual  meetings  to  discuss  the  stirring  and 
controverted  topics  of  the  day,  I  need  not  say  to  you  that  the 
proprieties  of  this  occasion  require  me  to  abstain  from  such  sub- 
jects; and  to  select  a  theme  falling,  to  some  extent  at  least, 
within  the  province  of  an  historical  society.  I  propose,  ac- 
cordingly, this  evening,  to  attempt  a  sketch  of  the  history  of 
the  discovery  and  colonization  of  America  and  of  immigration 
to  the  United  States.  I  can  of  course  offer  you,  within  the 
limits  of  a  single  address,  but  a  most  superficial  view  of  so 
vast  a  subject;  but  I  have  thought  that  even  a  sketch  of  a 
subject,  which  concerns  us  so  directly  and  in  so  many  ways, 
would  suggest  important  trains  of  reflection  to  thoughtful 
minds.  Words  written  or  spoken  are  at  best  but  a  kind  of 
shorthand,  to  be  filled  up  by  the  reader  or  hearer.  I  shall  be 
gratified  if,  after  honoring  my  hasty  sketch  with  your  kind 
attention,  you  shall  deem  it  worth  filling  up  from  your  own 
stores  of  knowledge  and  thought.  You  will  forgive  me,  if,  in 
the  attempt  to  give  a  certain  completeness  to  the  narrative,  I 
shall  be  led  to  glance  at  a  few  facts,  which,  however  inter- 
esting, may  seem  to  you  too  familiar  for  repetition. 

In  the  last  quarter  of  the  fifteenth  century,  an  Italian  mari- 
ner, a  citizen  of  the  little  republic  of  Genoa,  who  had  hitherto 
gained  his  livelihood  as  a  pilot  in  the  commercial  marine  of 
different  countries,  made  his  appearance  successively  at  various 

1  A  lecture  delivered  before  the  New  York  Historical  Society,  in  Metropolitan 
Hall,  on  the  first  of  June,  1853. 



courts  in  the  South  and  West  of  Europe,  soliciting  patronage 
and  aid  for  a  bold  and  novel  project  in  navigation.  The 
state  of  the  times  was  in  some  degree  favorable  to  the  adven- 
ture. The  Portuguese  had  for  half  a  century  been  pushing 
their  discoveries  southward  upon  the  coast  of  Africa,  and  they 
had  ventured  into  the  Atlantic  as  far  as  the  Azores.  Several 
conspiring  causes,  and  especially  the  invention  of  the  art  of 
printing,  had  produced  a  general  revival  of  intelligence.  Still, 
however,  the  state  of  things  in  this  respect  was  at  that  time 
very  different  from  what  we  witness  in  the  middle  of  the  nine- 
teenth century.  On  the  part  of  the  great  mass  of  mankind, 
there  was  but  little  improvement  over  the  darkness  of  the 
Middle  Ages.  The  new  culture  centered  in  the  convent,  the 
court,  and  the  university,  places  essentially  distrustful  of  bold 

The  idea  of  reaching  the  East  by  a  voyage  around  the  Af- 
rican continent  had  begun  to  assume  consistency;  but  the 
vastly  more  significant  idea,  that  the  earth  is  a  globe  and  ca- 
pable of  being  circumnavigated,  had  by  no  means  become 
incorporated  into  the  general  intelligence  of  the  age.  The 
Portuguese  navigators  felt  themselves  safe  as  they  crept  along 
the  African  coast,  venturing  each  voyage  a  few  leagues  farther, 
doubling  a  new  headland,  ascending  some  before  unexplored 
river,  holding  a  palaver  with  some  new  tribe  of  the  native  races. 
But  to  turn  the  prows  of  their  vessels  boldly  to  the  west,  to 
embark  upon  an  ocean,  not  believed,  in  the  popular  geography 
of  the  day,  to  have  an  outer  shore,  to  pass  that  bourne  from 
which  no  traveler  had  ever  returned,  and  from  which  experience 
had  not  taught  that  any  traveler  could  return,  and  thus  to 
reach  the  East  by  sailing  in  a  western  direction,  —  this  was  a 
conception  which  no  human  being  is  known  to  have  formed  before 
Columbus,  and  which  he  proposed  to  the  governments  of  Italy,  of 
Spain,  of  Portugal,  and  for  a  long  time  without  success.  The 
state  of  science  was  not  such  as  to  enable  men  to  discriminate 
between  the  improbable  and  untried  on  the  one  hand,  and  the 
impossible  and  absurd  on  the  other.  They  looked  upon  Columbus 
as  we  did  thirty  years  ago  upon  Captain  Symmes. 

But  the  illustrious  adventurer  persevered.  Sorrow  and  dis- 
appointment clouded  his  spirits,  but  did  not  shake  his  faith  nor 


subdue  his  will.  His  well-instructed  imagination  had  taken 
firm  hold  of  the  idea  that  the  earth  is  a  sphere.  What  seemed 
to  the  multitude  even  of  the  educated  of  that  day  a  doubtful 
and  somewhat  mystical  theory;  what  appeared  to  the  un- 
informed mass  a  monstrous  paradox,  contradicted  by  every  step 
we  take  upon  the  broad,  flat  earth  which  we  daily  tread  beneath 
our  feet ;  —  that  great  and  fruitful  truth  revealed  itself  to  the 
serene  intelligence  of  Columbus  as  a  practical  fact,  on  which  he 
was  willing  to  stake  all  he  had,  —  character  and  life.  And  it 
deserves  ever  to  be  borne  in  mind,  as  the  most  illustrious  example 
of  the  connection  of  scientific  theory  with  great  practical  results, 
that  the  discovery  of  America,  with  all  its  momentous  conse- 
quences to  mankind,  is  owing  to  the  distinct  conception  in  the 
mind  of  Columbus  of  this  single  scientific  proposition,  —  the 
terraqueous  earth  is  a  sphere. 

After  years  of  fruitless  and  heart-sick  solicitation,  after  offer- 
ing in  effect  to  this  monarch  and  to  that  monarch  the  gift  of 
a  hemisphere,  the  great  discoverer  touches  upon  a  partial  suc- 
cess. He  succeeds,  not  in  enlisting  the  sympathy  of  his  country- 
men at  Genoa  and  Venice  for  a  brave  brother  sailor;  not  in 
giving  a  new  direction  to  the  spirit  of  maritime  adventure  which 
had  so  long  prevailed  in  Portugal ;  not  in  stimulating  the  com- 
mercial thrift  of  Henry  the  Seventh,  or  the  pious  ambition  of  the 
Catholic  King.  His  sorrowful  perseverance  touched  the  heart 
of  a  noble  princess,  —  worthy  the  throne  which  she  adorned. 
The  New  World,  which  was  just  escaping  the  subtle  kingcraft 
of  Ferdinand,  was  saved  to  Spain  by  the  womanly  compassion 
of  Isabella. 

It  is  truly  melancholy,  however,  to  contemplate  the  wretched 
equipment,  for  which  the  most  powerful  princess  in  Christendom 
was  ready  to  pledge  her  jewels.  Floating  castles  will  soon  be 
fitted  out  to  convey  the  miserable  natives  of  Africa  to  the  golden 
shores  of  America,  and  towering  galleons  will  be  dispatched  to 
bring  home  the  guilty  treasures  to  Spain ;  but  three  small  vessels, 
two  of  which  were  without  a  deck,  and  neither  of  them  probably 
exceeding  the  capacity  of  a  pilot-boat,  and  even  these  impressed 
into  the  public  service,  composed  the  expedition,  fitted  out  under 
royal  patronage,  to  realize  that  magnificent  conception  in  which  the 
creative  mind  of  Columbus  had  planted  the  germs  of  a  new  world. 


No  chapter  of  romance  equals  the  interest  of  this  expedi- 
tion. The  most  fascinating  of  the  works  of  fiction  which  have 
issued  from  the  modern  press  have,  to  my  taste,  no  attraction 
compared  with  the  pages  in  which  the  first  voyage  of  Columbus 
is  described  by  Robertson,  and  especially  by  our  own  Irving 
and  Prescott,  the  last  two  enjoying  the  advantage  over  the 
great  Scottish  historian  of  possessing  the  lately  discovered 
journals  and  letters  of  Columbus  himself.  The  departure  from 
Palos,  where  a  few  years  before  he  had  begged  a  morsel  of  bread 
and  a  cup  of  water  for  his  wayworn  child ;  his  final  farewell  to 
the  Old  World  at  the  Canaries;  his  entrance  upon  the  trade 
winds,  which  then,  for  the  first  time,  filled  a  European  sail; 
the  portentous  variation  of  the  needle,  never  before  observed; 
the  fearful  course  westward  and  westward,  day  after  day  and 
night  after  night,  over  the  unknown  ocean ;  the  mutinous  and 
ill-appeased  crew ;  —  at  length,  when  hope  had  turned  to  despair 
in  every  heart  but  one,  the  tokens  of  land ;  the  cloud-banks  on 
the  western  horizon ;  the  logs  of  driftwood ;  the  fresh  shrub 
floating  with  its  leaves  and  berries ;  the  flocks  of  land-birds ;  the 
shoals  of  fish  that  inhabit  shallow  water ;  the  indescribable  smell 
of  the  shore ;  the  mysterious  presentiment  that  ever  goes  before 
a  great  event ;  —  and,  finally,  on  that  ever  memorable  night 
of  the  1 2th  of  October,  1492,  the  moving  light  seen  by  the  sleep- 
less eye  of  the  great  discoverer  himself  from  the  deck  of  the 
Santa  Maria,  and  in  the  morning  the  real,  undoubted  land,  swell- 
ing up  from  the  bosom  of  the  deep,  with  its  plains,  and  hills,  and 
forests,  and  rocks,  and  streams,  and  strange,  new  races  of  men ;  — 
these  are  incidents  in  which  the  authentic  history  of  the  discovery 
of  our  continent  excels  the  specious  wonders  of  romance,  as 
much  as  gold  excels  tinsel,  or  the  sun  in  the  heavens  outshines 
that  flickering  taper. 

But  it  is  no  part  of  my  purpose  to  dwell  upon  this  inter- 
esting narrative,  or  to  follow  out  this  most  wonderful  of  histo- 
ries, srnking  as  it  soon  did  into  a  tale  of  sorrow  for  Columbus 
himself,  and  before  long  ending  in  one  of  the  most  frightful 
tragedies  in  the  annals  of  the  world.  Such  seems  to  be  the 
law  of  humanity,  that  events  the  most  desirable  and  achieve- 
ments the  most  important  should,  either  in  their  inception  or 


progress,  be  mixed  up  with  disasters,  crimes,  and  sorrows  which 
it  makes  the  heart  sick  to  record. 

The  discovery  of  America,  I  need  hardly  say,  produced  a 
vast  extension  of  the  territory  of  the  power  under  whose  aus- 
pices the  discovery  was  made.  In  contemplating  this  point, 
we  encounter  one  of  the  most  terrible  mysteries  in  the  history 
of  our  race.  "Extension  of  territory!"  you  are  ready  to  ex- 
claim ;  "how  could  Spain  acquire  any  territory  by  the  fact  that 
a  navigator,  sailing  under  her  patronage,  had  landed  upon  one  or 
two  islands  near  the  continent  of  America,  and  coasted  for  a  few 
hundred  miles  along  its  shores?  These  shores  and  islands  are 
not  a  desert  on  which  Columbus,  like  a  Robinson  Crusoe  of  a 
higher  order,  has  landed  and  taken  possession.  They  are  occupied 
and  settled,  —  crowded,  even,  with  inhabitants,  —  subject  to 
the  government  of  their  native  chiefs ;  and  neither  by  inheritance, 
colonization,  nor  as  yet  by  conquest,  has  any  human  being  in 
Europe  a  right  to  rule  over  them  or  to  possess  a  square  foot  of  their 
territory."  Such  are  the  facts  of  the  case,  and  such,  one  would 
say,  ought  to  be  the  law  of  equity  of  the  case.  But  alas  for  the 
native  chiefs  and  the  native  races !  Before  he  sailed  from  Spain, 
Columbus  was  furnished  with  a  piece  of  parchment  a  foot  and  a 
half  square,  by  Ferdinand  and  Isabella,  creating  him  their 
Viceroy  and  High  Admiral  in  all  the  seas,  islands,  and  con- 
tinents which  he  should  discover,  his  heirs  forever  to  enjoy 
the  same  offices.  The  Viceroy  of  the  absolute  monarchs  of 
Aragon  and  Castile ! 

Thus  was  America  conquered  before  it  was  discovered.  By 
the  law  of  nations  as  then  understood,  (and  I  fear  there  is 
less  change  in  its  doctrine  at  the  present  day  than  we  should 
be  ready  to  think,)  a  sovereign  right  to  the  territory  and  gov- 
ernment of  all  newly  discovered  regions  inhabited  by  heathen 
tribes  we  believed  to  vest  in  the  Christian  prince  under  whose 
auspices  the  discovery  was  made,  subject  to  the  ratification 
of  the  Pope,  as  the  ultimate  disposer  of  the  kingdoms  of  the 
earth.  Such  was  the  law  of  nations,  as  then  understood,  in 
virtue  of  which,  from  the  moment  Columbus,  on  that  memora- 
ble night  to  which  I  have  alluded,  caught,  from  the  quarter- 
deck of  the  Santa  Maria,  the  twinkling  beams  of  a  taper  from 


the  shores  of  San  Salvador,  all  the  territorial  and  political 
rights  of  its  simple  inhabitants  were  extinguished  forever. 
When  on  the  following  morning  the  keel  of  his  vessel  grated 
upon  the  much  longed  for  strand,  it  completed,  with  more  than 
electric  speed,  that  terrible  circuit  which  connected  the  islands 
and  the  continent  to  the  footstool  of  the  Spanish  throne.  As 
he  landed  upon  the  virgin  shore,  its  native  inhabitants,  could 
they  have  foreseen  the  future,  would  have  felt,  if  I  may  pre- 
sume thus  to  apply  the  words,  that  virtue  had  gone  out  of 
it  forever.  With  some  of  them  the  process  was  sharp  and 
instantaneous,  with  others  more  gradual,  but  not  less  sure ;  with 
some,  even  after  nearly  four  centuries,  it  is  still  going  on ;  but  with 
all  it  was  an  irrevocable  doom.  The  wild  and  warlike,  the  in- 
dolent and  semicivilized,  the  bloody  Aztec,  the  inoffensive  Peru- 
vian, the  fierce  Araucanian,  —  all  fared  alike ;  a  foreign  rule  and 
an  iron  yoke  settled  or  is  settling  down  upon  their  necks  forever. 
Such  was  the  law  of  nations  of  that  day,  not  enacted,  how- 
ever, by  Spain.  It  was  in  reality  the  old  principle  of  the  right 
of  the  strongest,  disguised  by  a  pretext ;  a  colossal  iron  falsehood 
gilded  over  with  the  thin  foil  of  a  seeming  truth.  It  was  the  same 
principle  which  prompted  the  eternal  wars  of  the  Greeks  and 
Romans.  Aristotle  asserts,  without  qualification,  that  the  Greeks 
had  a  perpetual  right  of  war  and  conquest  against  the  barbarians, 
-  that  is,  all  the  rest  of  the  world ;  and  the  pupil  of  Aristotle 
proclaimed  this  doctrine  at  the  head  of  the  Macedonian  phalanx 
on  the  banks  of  the  Indus.  The  irruption  of  the  barbarous  races 
into  Europe,  during  the  centuries  that  preceded  and  followed 
Christianity,  rested  on  as  good  a  principle,  —  rather  better,  - 
the  pretext  only  was  varied ;  although  the  Gauls  and  Goths  did 
not  probably  trouble  themselves  much  about  pretexts.  They 
adopted  rather  the  simple  philosophy  of  the  robber  chieftain 
of  the  Scottish  Highlands : 

Pent  in  this  fortress  of  the  North, 
Think'st  thou  we  will  not  sally  forth, 
To  spoil  the  spoiler  as  we  may, 
And  from  the  robber  rend  the  prey  ? 

When  the  Mohammedan  races  rose  to  power,  they  claimed 
dominion  over  all  who  disbelieved  the  Koran.    Conversion  or 


extermination  was  the  alternative  which  they  offered  to  the 
world,  and  which  was  announced  in  letters  of  fire  and  blood 
from  Spain  to  the  Ganges.  The  states  of  Christian  Europe 
did  but  retort  the  principle  and  the  practice,  when,  in  a  series 
of  crusades,  kept  up  for  more  than  three  hundred  years,  they 
poured  desolation  over  the  west  of  Asia,  in  order  to  rescue 
the  sepulcher  of  the  Prince  of  Peace  from  the  possession  of 

Such  were  the  principles  of  the  public  law  and  the  practice 
under  them,  as  they  existed  when  the  great  discoveries  of  the 
fifteenth  and  sixteenth  centuries  took  place.  When  the  Por- 
tuguese began  to  push  their  adventures  far  to  the  south  on 
the  coast  of  Africa,  in  order  to  give  to  those  principles  the 
highest  sanction,  they  procured  of  Pope  Nicholas  the  Fifth,  in 
1454,  the  grant  of  the  right  of  sovereignty  over  all  the  heathen 
tribes,  nations,  and  countries  discovered  or  to  be  discovered 
by  them,  from  Africa  to  India,  and  the  exclusive  title  thus 
conferred  was  recognized  by  all  the  other  nations  of  Chris- 

On  the  return  of  Columbus  from  his  first  voyage,  the  king 
of  Spain,  not  to  fall  behind  his  neighbors  in  the  strength  of 
his  title,  lost  no  time  in  obtaining  from  Pope  Alexander  the 
Sixth  a  similar  grant  of  all  the  heathen  lands  discovered  by 
Columbus,  or  which  might  hereafter  be  discovered,  in  the  west. 
To  preclude  as  far  as  possible  all*  conflict  with  Portugal,  the 
famous  line  of  demarcation  was  projected  from  the  north  to 
the  south,  a  hundred  leagues  west  of  the  Azores,  cutting  the 
earth  into  halves,  like  an  apple,  and,  as  far  as  the  new  dis- 
coveries were  concerned,  giving  to  the  Spaniards  all  west  of 
the  line,  and  confirming  all  east  of  it  to  the  Portuguese,  in  virtue 
of  the  grant  already  mentioned  of  Pope  Nicholas  the  Fifth. 

I  regret  that  want  of  time  will  not  allow  me  to  dwell  upon 
the  curious  history  of  this  line  of  demarcation,  for  the  benefit 
of  all  states  having  boundary  controversies,  and  especially 
our  sister  republics  of  Nicaragua  and  Costa  Rica.  It  is  suf- 
ficient to  say,  that,  having  had  its  origin  in  the  papal  bull  just 
referred  to  of  1454,  it  remained  a  subject  of  dispute  and  col- 
lision for  three  hundred  and  sixty-one  years,  and  was  finally 
settled  at  the  Congress  of  Vienna  in  1815  ! 


The  territorial  extension  of  Portugal  and  Spain,  which  re- 
sulted from  the  discovery  of  America,  was  followed  by  the 
most  extraordinary  effects  upon  the  commerce,  the  finances, 
and  the  politics  generally,  of  those  two  countries,  and  through 
them  of  the  world.  The  overland  trade  to  the  East,  the  great 
commercial  interest  of  the  Middle  Ages,  was  abandoned.  The 
whole  of  South  America,  and  a  considerable  part  of  North 
America,  were,  in  the  course  of  the  sixteenth  century,  settled 
by  those  governments;  who  organized  in  their  Transatlantic 
possessions  a  colonial  system  of  the  most  rigid  and  despotic 
character,  reflecting  as  far  as  was  practicable  in  distant  prov- 
inces beyond  the  sea  the  stern  features  of  the  mother  coun- 
try. The  precious  metals,  and  a  monopoly  of  the  trade  to  the 
East,  were  the  great  objects  to  be*  secured.  Aliens  were  for- 
bidden to  enter  the  American  viceroyalties ;  none  but  a  con- 
traband trade  was  carried  on  by  foreigners  at  the  seaports. 
To  prevent  this  trade,  a  severe  right  of  search  was  instituted 
along  the  entire  extent  of  the  coasts,  on  either  ocean.  I  have 
recently  had  an  opportunity,  in  another  place,  to  advert  to  the 
effects  of  this  system  upon  the  international  relations  of  Eu- 
rope.1 Native  subjects  could  emigrate  to  these  vast  colonial 
possessions  only  with  the  permission  of  the  government. 
Liberty  of  speech  and  of  the  press  was  unknown.  Instead 
of  affording  an  asylum  to  persons  dissenting  from  the  religion 
of  the  state,  conformity  of  belief  was,  if  possible,  enforced 
more  rigidly  in  the  colonies  than  in  the  mother  country.  No 
relaxation  in  this  respect  has,  I  believe,  taken  place  in  the 
remaining  colonies  of  Spain  even  to  the  present  day.  As  for 
the  aboriginal  tribes,  after  the  first  work  of  extermination  was 
over  a  remnant  was  saved  from  destruction  by  being  reduced 
to  a  state  of  predial  servitude.  The  dejected  and  spiritless 
posterity  of  the  warlike  tribes  that  offered  no  mean  resistance 
to  Cortes  and  Pizarro  are  now  the  hewers  of  wood  and  the 
drawers  of  water  to  Mexico  and  Peru.  In  a  word,  from  the 
extreme  southern  point  of  Patagonia  to  the  northernmost  limit 
of  New  Mexico,  I  am  not  aware  that  anything  hopeful  was 

1  Speech  on  the  affairs  of  Central  America,  in  the  Senate  of  the  United  States, 
aist  of  March,  1853. 


done  for  human  improvement  by  either  of  the  European  crowns 
which  added  these  vast  domains  to  their  territories. 

If  this  great  territorial  extension  was  fruitless  of  beneficial 
consequences  to  America,  it  was  not  less  so  to  the  mother 
countries.  For  Spain  it  was  the  commencement  of  a  period, 
not  of  prosperity,  but  of  decline.  The  rapid  influx  of  the  pre- 
cious metals,  in  the  absence  of  civil  liberty  and  of  just  prin- 
ciples and  institutions  of  intercourse  and  industry,  was  pro- 
ductive of  manifold  evils;  and  from  the  reign  of  Philip  the 
Second,  if  not  of  Charles  the  Fifth,  the  Spanish  monarchy 
began  to  sink  from  its  haughty  position  at  the  head  of  the 
European  family.  I  do  not  ascribe  this  downfall  exclusively 
to  the  cause  mentioned ;  but  the  possession  of  the  two  Indies, 
with  all  their  treasures,  did  nothing  to  arrest,  accelerated  even, 
the  progress  of  degeneracy.  Active  causes  of  decline  no  doubt 
existed  at  home ;  and  of  these  the  Inquisition  was  the  chief. 

There  was  the  weight  that  pulled  her  down. 

The  spirit  of  intolerance  and  persecution,  the  reproach  and 
scandal  of  all  countries  and  all  churches,  Protestant  as  well  as 
Catholic  (not  excepting  the  Pilgrim  Fathers  of  New  England), 
found  an  instrument  in  the  Holy  Office  in  Spain,  in  the  six- 
teenth century,  such  as  it  never  possessed  in  any  other  age  or 
country.  It  was  not  merely  Jews  and  heretics  whom  it  bound 
to  the  stake ;  it  kindled  a  slow,  unquenchable  fire  in  the  heart  of 
Castile  and  Leon.  The  horrid  atrocities  practiced  at  home  and 
abroad,  not  only  in  the  Netherlands,  but  in  every  city  of  the 
mother  country,  cried  to  Heaven  for  vengeance  upon  Spain; 
nor  could  she  escape  it.  She  intrenched  herself  behind  the  eternal 
Cordilleras ;  she  took  to  herself  the  wings  of  the  morning,  and 
dwelt  in  the  uttermost  parts  of  the  sea ;  but  even  there  the  arm 
of  retribution  laid  hold  of  her,  and  the  wrongs  of  both  hemi- 
spheres were  avenged  in  her  degeneracy  and  fall. 

But  let  us  pass  on  to  the  next  century,  during  which  events 
of  the  utmost  consequence  followed  each  other  in  rapid  suc- 
cession, and  the  foundations  of  institutions  destined  to  influ- 
ence the  fortunes  of  Christendom  were  laid  by  humble  men, 


who  little  comprehended  their  own  work.  In  the  course  of 
the  seventeenth  century,  the  French  and  English  took  posses- 
sion of  all  that  part  of  North  America  which  was  not  pre- 
occupied by  the  Spaniards.  The  French  entered  by  the 
St.  Lawrence ;  followed  that  noble  artery  to  the  heart  of  the 
continent ;  traced  the  great  lakes  to  their  parent  rivulets  and 
weeping  fountains;  descended  the  Mississippi.  Miracles  of 
humble  and  unavailing  heroism  were  performed  by  their  gallant 
adventurers  and  pious  missionaries  in  the  depths  of  our  Western 
wilderness.  The  English  stretched  along  the  coast.  The  geog- 
rapher would  have  pronounced  that  the  French,  in  appro- 
priating to  themselves  the  mighty  basins  of  the  Mississippi  and 
the  St.  Lawrence,  had  got  possession  of  the  better  part  of  the 
continent.  But  it  was  an  attempt  to  compose  the  second  volume 
of  the  "Fortunes  of  America,"  in  advance  of  the  first.  This  it  was 
ordained  should  be  written  at  Jamestown  and  Plymouth.  The 
French,  though  excelling  all  other  nations  of  the  world  in  the 
art  of  communicating  for  temporary  purposes  with  savage 
tribes,  seem,  still  more  than  the  Spaniards,  to  be  destitute  of  the 
august  skill  required  to  found  new  states.1  I  do  not  know  that 
there  is  such  a  thing  in  the  world  as  a  colony  of  France  growing 
up  into  a  prosperous  commonwealth.  Half  a  million  of  French 
peasants  in  Lower  Canada,  tenaciously  adhering  to  the  manners 
and  customs  which  their  fathers  brought  from  Normandy  two 
centuries  ago,  and  a  third  part  of  that  number  of  planters  of 
French  descent  in  Louisiana,  are  all  that  is  left  to  bear  living 
witness  to  the  amazing  fact,  that  in  the  middle  of  the  last  century 
France  was  the  mistress  of  the  better  half  of  North  America. 

It  was  on  the  Atlantic  coast,  and  in  the  colonies  originally 
planted  or  soon  acquired  by  England,  that  the  great  work 
of  the  seventeenth  century  was  performed,  —  slowly,  toilsomely, 
effectively.  A  mighty  work  for  America  and  mankind,  of  which 
even  we,  fond  and  proud  of  it  as  we  are,  do  but  faintly  guess 
the  magnitude !  It  could  hardly  be  said,  at  the  time,  to  prosper 
in  any  of  its  parts.  It  yielded  no  return  to  the  pecuniary  capital 
invested.  The  political  relations  of  the  colonies  from  the  first 
were  those  of  encroachment  and  resistance ;  and  even  the  moral 

*"La  France  saura  mal  coloniser  et  n'y  re"ussira  qu'avec  peine."  —  VICTOR 
HUGO,  "Le  Rhin,"  Tom.  II,  p.  280. 


principle,  as  far  as  there  was  one,  on  which  they  were  founded,  was 
not  consistently  carried  out.  There  was  conflict  with  the  savages, 
war  with  the  French  and  Spaniards,  jarring  and  feud  between 
neighboring  colonies,  persecution  of  dissenting  individuals  and 
sects,  perpetual  discord  with  the  crown  and  the  proprieta- 
ries. Yet,  in  the  main  and  on  the  whole,  the  WORK  was  done. 
Things  that  did  not  work  singly  worked  together ;  or  if  they  did 
not  work  together,  they  worked  by  reaction  and  collision.  Feeble 
germs  of  settlement  grew  to  the  consistency  of  powerful  colonies ; 
habits  of  civil  government  rooted  themselves  in  a  soil  that  was 
continually  stirred  by  political  agitation;  the  frame  of  future 
republics  knit  itself,  as  it  were  in  embryo,  under  a  monarchical 
system  of  colonial  rule ;  till  in  the  middle  of  the  eighteenth 
century  the  approach  of  mighty  changes  began  to  be  dimly 
foreseen  by  gifted  spirits.  A  faint  streak  of  purple  light  blushed 
along  the  eastern  sky. 

Two  things  worth  mentioning  contributed  to  the  result. 
One  was  the  absence  of  the  precious  metals.  The  British 
colonies  were  rich  in  the  want  of  gold.  As  the  abundance  of 
gold  and  silver  in  Mexico  and  Peru  contributed,  in  various 
ways,  to  obstruct  the  prosperity  of  the  Spanish  colonies,  the 
want  of  them  acted  not  less  favorably  here.  In  the  first  settle- 
ment of  a  savage  wilderness  the  golden  attraction  is  too  powerful 
for  the  ordinary  routine  of  life.  It  produces  a  feverish  excitement 
unfavorable  to  the  healthy  growth  and  calm  action  of  the  body 
politic.  Although  California  has  from  the  first  had  the  advantage 
of  being  incorporated  into  a  stable  political  system,  of  which,  as 
a  sister  State,  she  forms  an  integral  part,  it  is  quite  doubtful 
whether,  looking  to  her  permanent  well-being,  the  gold  is  to  be 
a  blessing  to  her.  It  will  hasten  her  settlement ;  but  that  would 
at  any  rate  have  advanced  with  great  rapidity.  One  of  the  most 
intellectual  men  in  this  country,  the  author  of  one  of  the  most 
admirable  works  in  our  language,  I  mean  "Two  Years  before 
the  Mast,"  once  remarked  to  me,  that  "California  would  be  one 
of  the  finest  countries  in  the  world  to  live  in,  if  it  were  not  for 
the  gold." 

The  other  circumstance  which  operated  in  the  most  favor- 
able manner  upon  the  growth  of  the  Anglo-American  colonies 
was  the  fact,  that  they  were  called  into  existence  less  by  the 



government  than  the  people;  that  they  were  mainly  settled, 
not  by  bodies  of  colonists,  but  by  individual  immigrants.  The 
crown  gave  charters  of  government  and  grants  of  land,  and  a 
considerable  expenditure  was  made  by  some  of  the  companies  and 
proprietors  who  received  these  grants ;  but  upon  the  whole,  the 
United  States  were  settled  by  individuals,  —  the  adventurous, 
resolute,  high-spirited,  and  in  many  cases  persecuted  men  and 
women,  who  sought  a  home  and  a  refuge  beyond  the  sea ;  and 
such  was  the  state  of  Europe  in  the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth 
centuries,  that  it  furnished  a  succession  of  victims  of  a  long  series 
of  political  and  religious  disasters  and  persecutions,  who  found, 
one  after  another,  a  safe  and  a  congenial  retreat  in  some  one  of 
the  American  colonies. 

This  noble  theme  has  been  treated  with  a  beauty  and  a 
power,  by  one  whom  I  need  not  name  in  this  presence  (the 
historian  of  the  United  States),  which,  without  impairing  their 
authenticity,  have  converted  the  severe  pages  of  our  history 
into  a  magnificent  Odyssey  of  national  adventure.  I  can 
but  glance  at  the  dates.  The  first  settlement  that  of  Vir- 
ginia, was  commenced  in  the  spirit  of  worldly  enterprise,  with 
no  slight  dash,  however,  of  chivalry  and  romance  on  the  part 
of  its  leader.  In  the  next  generation  this  colony  became  the 
favorite  resort  of  the  loyal  cavaliers  and  gentlemen  who  were 
disgusted  by  the  austerities  of  the  English  Commonwealth,  or 
fell  under  its  suspicion.  In  the  meantime,  New  England  was 
founded  by  those  who  suffered  the  penalties  of  nonconformity. 
The  mighty  change  of  1640  stopped  the  tide  of  emigration  to 
New  England,  but  recruited  Virginia  with  those  who  were  dis- 
affected to  Cromwell.  In  1624  the  island  of  Manhattan,  of  which 
you  have  perhaps  heard,  and  if  not,  you  will  find  its  history 
related  with  learning,  judgment,  and  good  taste,  by  a  loyal*  de- 
scendant of  its  early  settlers  (Mr.  Brodhead) ,  was  purchased  of 
the  Indians  for  twenty-four  dollars;  a  sum  of  money,  by  the 
way,  which  seems  rather  low  for  twenty-two  thousand  acres 
of  land,  including  the  site  of  this  great  metropolis,  but  which 
would,  if  put  out  at  compound  interest  at  7  per  cent  in 
1624,  not  perhaps  fall  so  very  much  below  even  its  present 
value;  though  I  admit  that  a  dollar  for  a  thousand  acres  is 
quite  cheap  for  choice  spots  on  the  Fifth  Avenue.  Maryland 


next  attracted  those  who  adhered  to  the  ancient  faith  of  the 
Christian  world.  New  Jersey  and  Pennsylvania  were  mainly 
settled  by  persecuted  Quakers ;  but  the  latter  offered  an  asylum 
to  the  Germans  whom  the  sword  of  Louis  the  Fourteenth  drove 
from  the  Palatinate.  The  French  Huguenots,  driven  out  by 
the  revocation  of  the  Edict  of  Nantes,  scattered  themselves  from 
Massachusetts  to  Carolina.  The  Dutch  and  Swedish  settlements 
on  the  Hudson  and  the  Delaware  provided  a  kindred  home  for 
such  of  their  countrymen  as  desired  to  try  the  fortune  of  the  New 
World.  The  Whigs  of  England  who  rebelled  against  James  the 
Second,  in  1685,  and  were  sent  to  the  Transatlantic  colonies,  lived 
long  enough  to  meet  in  exile  the  adherents  of  his  son,  who 
rebelled  against  George  the  First,  in  1715.  The  oppressed 
Protestants  of  Salzburg  came  with  General  Oglethorpe  to 
Georgia ;  and  the  Highlanders  who  fought  for  Charles  Edward, 
in  1745,  were  deported  by  hundreds  to  North  Carolina.  They 
were  punished  by  being  sent  from  their  bleak  hills  and  sterile 
moors  to  a  land  of  abundance  and  liberty ;  they  were  banished 
from  oatmeal  porridge  to  meat  twice  a  day.  The  Gaelic  lan- 
guage is  still  spoken  by  their  descendants,  and  thousands  of  their 
kindred  at  the  present  day  would  no  doubt  gladly  share  their 

There  is  no  doubt  that  the  hardships  which  awaited  the 
emigrant  at  that  early  day  were  neither  few  nor  slight,  though 
greatly  exaggerated  for  want  of  information.  Goldsmith,  in 
"The  Deserted  Village,"  published  in  1769,  gives  us  a  some- 
what amusing  picture  of  the  state  of  things  as  he  supposed  it 
to  exist  beyond  the  ocean  at  that  time.  As  his  local  allusion 
is  to  Georgia,  it  is  probable  that  he  formed  his  impressions 
from  the  accounts  which  were  published  at  London  about 
the  middle  of  the  last  century  by  some  of  the  discontented 
settlers  of  that  colony.  Goldsmith,  being  well  acquainted 
with  General  Oglethorpe,  was,  likely  enough  to  have  had  his 
attention  called  to  the  subject.  Perhaps  you  will  allow  me 
to  enliven  my  dull  prose  with  a  few  lines  of  his  beautiful  poetry. 
After  describing  the  sufferings  of  the  poor  in  London  at  that 
time,  reverting  to  the  condition  of  the  inhabitants  of  his  imaginary 
Auburn,  and  asking  whether  they  probably  shared  the  woes  he 
had  just  painted,  he  thus  answers  his  question : 


Ah,  no  !  To  distant  climes,  a  dreary  scene, 

Where  half  the  convex  world  intrudes  between, 

Through  torrid  tracts  with  fainting  steps  they  go, 

Where  wild  Altama  murmurs  to  their  woe. 

Far  different  there  from  all  that  charmed  before, 

The  various  terrors  of  that  horrid  shore  : 

Those  blazing  suns  that  dart  a  downward  ray, 

And  fiercely  shed  intolerable  day ; 

Those  matted  woods,  where  birds  forgot  to  sing, 

But  silent  bats  in  drowsy  clusters  cling ; 

Those  poisonous  fields  with  rank  luxuriance  crowned, 

Where  the  dark  scorpion  gathers  death  around,  — 

Where,  at  each  step,  the  stranger  fears  to  wake 

The  rattling  terrors  of  the  vengeful  snake,  — 

Where  crouching  tigers  wait  their  hapless  prey, 

And  savage  men  more  murderous  still  than  they ; 

While  oft  in  whirls  the  mad  tornado  flies, 

Mingling  the  ravaged  landscape  with  the  skies. 

In  this  rather  uninviting  sketch,  it  must  be  confessed  that 
it  is  not  easy  to  recognize  the  natural  features  of  that  thriv- 
ing State,  which  possesses  at  the  present  day  a  thousand  miles 
of  railroad,  and  which,  by  her  rapidly  increasing  population, 
her  liberal  endowment  of  colleges,  schools,  and  churches,  and 
all  the  other  social  institutions  of  a  highly  improved  com- 
munity, is  fast  earning  the  name  of  the  "Empire  State"  of 
the  South. 

After  repeating  these  lines,  it  is  scarcely  necessary  to  say 
that  there  was  much  ignorance  and  exaggeration  prevailing 
in  Europe  as  to  the  state  of  things  in  America.  But  a  few 
years  after  Goldsmith's  poem  appeared,  an  event  occurred 
which  aroused  and  fixed  the  attention  of  the  world.  The  revolt 
of  the  Colonies  in  1775,  the  Declaration  of  Independence  in 
1776,  the  battles  of  the  Revolutionary  War,  the  alliance  with 
France,  the  acknowledgment  of  American  Independence  by 
the  treaty  of  1783,  the  establishment  of  a  great  federative 
republic,  the  illustrious  career  of  Lafayette,  the  European  rep- 
utation of  Franklin,  and,  above  all,  the  character  of  Wash- 
ington, gave  to  the  United  States  a  great  and  brilliant  name 
in  the  family  of  nations.  Thousands  in  every  part  of  Europe 


then  probably  heard  of  America,  with  any  distinct  impres- 
sions, for  the  first  time ;  and  they  now  heard  of  it  as  a  region 
realizing  the  wildest  visions.  Hundreds  in  every  walk  of  life 
began  to  resort  to  America,  and  especially  ardent  young  men, 
who  were  dissatisfied  with  the  political  condition  of  Europe. 
Among  these  was  your  late  venerable  President,  Albert  Gal- 
latin,  one  of  the  most  eminent  men  of  the  last  generation,  who 
came  to  this  country  before  he  attained  his  majority;  and  the 
late  celebrated  Sir  Isambert  Brunei,  the  architect  of  the  Thames 
Tunnel.  He  informed  me  that  he  became  a  citizen  of  the  State 
of  New  York  before  the  adoption  of  the  Federal  Constitution, 
and  that  he  made  some  surveys  to  ascertain  the  practicability 
of  the  great  work  which  afterwards  united  the  waters  of  Lake  Erie 
with  the  waters  of  the  Atlantic,  and  gave  immortality  to  the 
name  of  your  Clinton. 

Before  the  Revolution,  the  great  West  was  shut  even  to 
the  subjects  of  England.  A  royal  proclamation  of  1763  for- 
bade the  extension  of  the  settlements  in  North  America  beyond 
the  Ohio.  But  without  such  a  prohibition,  the  still  unbroken 
power  of  the  Indian  tribes  would  have  prevented  any  such 
extension.  The  successful  result  of  the  Revolutionary  War  did 
not  materially  alter  the  state  of  things  in  this  respect.  The 
native  tribes  were  still  formidable,  and  the  British  posts  in  the 
Northwestern  Territory  were  retained.  So  little  confidence  was 
placed  in  the  value  of  a  title  to  land,  even  within  the  limits  of  the 
State  of  New  York,  that  the  enterprising  citizens  of  Massachu- 
setts, Messrs.  Gorham  and  Phelps,  who  bought  six  millions  of 
acres  of  land  on  the  Genesee  River,  shortly  after  the  Peace,  for 
a  few  cents  the  acre,  were  obliged  to  abandon  the  greater  part 
of  the  purchase  from  the  difficulty  of  finding  under  purchasers 
enough  to  enable  them  to  meet  the  first  installments. 

On  one  occasion,  when  Judge  Gorham  was  musing  in  a  state 
of  mental  depression  on  the  failure  of  this  magnificent  speculation 
he  was  visited  by  a  friend  and  townsman,  who  had  returned  from 
a  journey  to  Canandaigua,  then  just  laid  out.  This  friend  tried 
to  cheer  the  Judge  with  a  bright  vision  of  the  future  growth  of 
western  New  York.  Kindling  with  his  theme,  he  pointed  to  a 
son  of  Judge  Gorham,  who*  was  in  the  room,  and  added,  "You 
and  I  shall  not  live  to  see  the  day,  but  that  lad,  if  he  reaches  three 


score  years  and  ten,  will  see  a  daily  stage-coach  running  as  far 
west  as  Canandaigua ! "  That  lad  is  still  living.  What  he  has  seen 
in  the  shape  of  travel  and  conveyance  in  the  State  of  New  York, 
it  is  not  necessary  before  this  audience  to  say. 

It  was  the  adoption  of  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States, 
in  1789,  which  gave  stability  to  the  Union  and  confidence  to 
the  people.  This  was  the  Promethean  fire,  which  kindled 
the  body  politic  into  vital  action.  It  created  a  national  force. 
The  Indians  on  the  southwest  were  pacified.  On  the  north- 
western frontier  the  troops  of  the  general  government  were  at 
first  defeated;  but  after  the  victory  of  Wayne,  and  the  peace 
of  Greeneville,  in  1795,  the  British  posts  were  surrendered, 
and  the  tide  of  emigration  began  to  pour  in.  It  was  rather, 
however,  from  the  older  States  than  from  foreign  countries. 
The  extensive  region  northwest  of  the  Ohio  had  already  re- 
ceived its  political  organization  as  a  territory  of  the  United 
States  by  the  ever  memorable  Ordinance  of  1787. 

While  Providence  was  thus  opening  on  this  continent  the 
broadest  region  that  ever  was  made  accessible  to  human  prog- 
ress, want,  or  adventure,  it  happened  that  the  kingdoms  of 
Europe  were  shaken  by  the  terrible  convulsions  incident  to 
the  French  Revolution.  France  herself  first,  and  afterwards 
the  countries  overrun  by  her  revolutionary  armies,  poured 
forth  their  children  by  thousands.  I  believe  there  are  no  offi- 
cial returns  of  the  number  of  immigrants  to  the  United  States 
at  the  time,  but  it  was  very  large.  Among  them  was  M.  de 
Talleyrand,  the  celebrated  minister  of  every  government  in 
France,  from  that  of  the  Directory,  in  1797,  to  that  of  Louis 
Philippe,  in  whose  reign  he  died.  I  saw  at  Peale's  Museum, 
in  Philadelphia,  the  original  oath  of  allegiance,  subscribed  by 
him  in  I794.1  Louis  Philippe  himself  emigrated  to  this  country, 

1  Since  this  lecture  was  delivered,  I  have  been  favored  with  a  copy  of  this  paper 
by  Edward  D.  Ingraham,  Esq.,  of  Philadelphia.  It  is  in  the  following  words: 

I,  Charles  Maurice  Talleyrand  Perigord,  formerly  Administrator  of  the  Depart- 
ment of  Paris,  son  of  Joseph  Daniel  de  Talleyrand  Perigord,  a  General  of  the 
Armies  of  France,  born  at  Paris  and  arrived  at  Philadelphia  from  London,  do 
swear  that  I  will  be  faithful  and  bear  true  allegiance  to  the  Commonwealth  of  Penn- 
sylvania and  to  the  United  States  of  America,  and  that  I  will  not  at  any  time  will- 
fully and  knowingly  do  any  matter  or  thing  prejudicial  to  the  freedom  and  inde- 
pendence thereof.  CH>  MAU>  D£  TALLEYRAND  PERIGORD. 


where  he  passed  three  years,  and  is  well  remembered  by  many 
persons  still  living.  He  habitually  spoke  with  gratitude  of  the 
kindness  which  he  experienced  in  every  part  of  the  Union. 

As  yet,  no  acquisition  of  territory  had  been  made  by  the 
United  States  beyond  the  limits  of  the  British  colonies;  but 
in  1803  a  most  important  step  was  taken  in  the  purchase  of 
Louisiana,  by  which  our  possessions  were  extended,  though 
with  an  unsettled  boundary  both  on  the  south  and  the  north, 
to  the  Pacific  Ocean.  The  War  of  1812  reduced  the  Indian 
tribes  in  the  Northwestern  States ;  and  the  campaigns  of  General 
Jackson  a  few  years  later  produced  the  same  effect  on  the 
southern  frontier.  Florida  was  acquired  by  treaty  from  Spain  in 
1819;  and  the  Indians  in  Georgia,  Alabama,  and  Mississippi 
were  removed  to  the  west  of  the  river  Mississippi  ten  or  twelve 
years  later.  Black  Hawk's  war  in  Wisconsin  took  place  in  1833, 
and  a  series  of  Indian  treaties,  both  before  and  after  that  event, 
extinguished  the  Indian  title  to  all  the  land  east  of  the  Mississippi, 
and  to  considerable  tracts  west  of  that  river.  Texas  was  annexed 
to  the  Union  in  1845,  and  in  1848  New  Mexico  and  California 
came  into  our  possession. 

I  have,  as  you  perceive,  run  rapidly  over  these  dates,  com- 
pressing into  one  paragraph  the  starting  points  in  the  history 
of  future  commonwealths,  simply  in  their  bearing  on  the  subject 
of  immigration.  These  acquisitions,  not  inferior  in  extent  to 
all  that  there  was  solid  in  the  Roman  conquests,  have  resulted 
in  our  possession  of  a  zone  of  territory  of  the  width  of  twenty 
degrees  of  latitude,  stretching  from  ocean  to  ocean,  and  nearly 
equal  in  extent  to  the  whole  of  Europe.1  It  is  all  subject  to  the 
power  of  the  United  States ;  a  portion  of  it  has  attained  the 
civilization  of  the  Old  World,  while  other  portions  shade  off 
through  all  degrees  of  culture,  to  the  log-house  of  the  frontier 
settler,  the  cabin  of  the  trapper,  and  the  wigwam  of  the  savage. 
Within  this  vast  domain  there  are  millions  of  acres  of  fertile 
land,  to  be  purchased  at  moderate  prices,  according  to  its  position 
and  its  state  of  improvement,  and  there  are  hundreds  of  millions 
of  acres  in  a  state  of  nature,  and  gradually  selling  at  the  govern- 
ment price  of  a  dollar  and  a  quarter  per  acre. 

1  Square  miles  in  the  United  States,  3,260,073 ;  in  Europe,  3,700,  971.  —  Amer- 
ican Almanac  for  1853,  pp.  315  and  316. 


It  is  this  which  most  strikes  the  European  imagination. 
The  Old  World  is  nearly  all  appropriated  by  individuals.  There 
are  public  domains  in  most  foreign  countries,  but  of  comparatively 
small  amount,  and  mostly  forests.  With  this  exception,  every 
acre  of  land  in  Europe  is  private  property,  and  in  such  countries 
as  England,  the  Netherlands,  France,  Germany,  and  Italy, 
what  little  changes  hands  is  sold  only  at  a  high  price.  I  presume 
the  number  of  landholders  in  England  is  far  less  than  in  the  State 
of  New  York.  In  the  course  of  the  French  Revolution  the  land 
has  been  greatly  divided  and  subdivided  in  France  and  in  Ger- 
many, and  is  now  held  in  small  farms ;  but  owing  to  the  limited 
quantity  of  purchasable  land,  these  farms,  when  sold,  are  sold 
only  at  high  prices.  Generally  speaking,  the  mass  of  the  in- 
habitants of  Europe  regard  the  ability  to  hold  and  occupy  a 
considerable  landed  property  as  the  summit  of  human  fortune. 
The  suggestion  that  there  is  a  country  beyond  the  ocean,  where 
fertile  land  is  to  be  purchased,  in  any  quantity,  at  a  dollar  and  a 
quarter  per  acre,  and  that  dollar  and  a  quarter  to  be  earned  in 
many  parts  of  the  country  by  the  labor  of  a  single  day,  strikes 
them  as  the  tales  of  Aladdin's  lamp  or  AH  Baba's  cave  would 
strike  us,  if  we  thought  they  were  true.  They  forget  the  costs 
and  sacrifices  of  leaving  home,  the  ocean  to  be  traversed,  the 
weary  pilgrimage  in  the  land  of  strangers  after  their  arrival.  They 
see  nothing  with  the  mind's  eye  but  the  "land  of  promise"  ;  they 
reflect  upon  nothing  but  the  fact,  that  there  is  a  region  on  the 
earth's  surface  where  a  few  days'  unskilled  labor  will  purchase 
the  fee  simple  of  an  ample  farm. 

Such  an  attraction  would  be  irresistible  under  any  circum- 
stances to  the  population  of  an  old  country,  where,  as  I  have 
just  said,  the  land  is  all  appropriated,  and  to  be  purchased, 
in  any  considerable  quantity,  only  at  prices  which  put  its 
acquisition  beyond  the  thought  of  the  masses.  But  this  is 
but  half  the  tale.  It  must  not  be  forgotten  that  in  this  ancient 
and  venerable  Europe,  whose  civilization  is  the  growth  of  two 
thousand  years,  where  some  of  the  luxurious  refinements  of 
life  are  carried  to  a  perfection  of  which  we  have  scarcely  an  idea 
in  this  country,  a  considerable  part  of  the  population,  even  in 
the  most  prosperous  regions,  pass  their  lives  in  a  state  but  one 
remove  from  starvation,  —  poorly  fed,  poorly  clothed,  poorly 


housed,  without  education,  without  political  privileges,  with- 
out moral  culture.  The  average  wages  of  the  agricultural 
laborer  in  England  were  estimated  a  year  ago  at  95.  6d.  ster- 
ling—  about  $2.37^-  —  per  week.  The  condition  of  the  work- 
ing population  on  the  continent  of  Europe  is  in  no  degree 
better,  if  as  good.  They  eat  but  little  animal  food  either  in 
England  or  on  the  Continent.  We  form  romantic  notions  at  a 
distance  of  countries  that  abound  in  wine  and  oil;  but  in  the 
best  governed  states  of  Italy,  —  in  Tuscany,  for  instance,  —  the 
peasantry,  though  they  pass  their  lives  in  the  vineyard  and  the 
olive  orchard,  consume  the  fruit  of  neither.  I  have  seen  the 
Tuscan  peasants,  unable  to  bear  the  cost  of  the  most  ordinary 
wine  from  the  vineyards  in  which  their  cottages  are  embow- 
ered, and  which  can  be  bought  at  retail  for  a  cent  a  flask,  pour- 
ing water  over  the  grape  skins  as  they  come  from  the  press, 
and  making  that  their  beverage. 

Even  for  persons  in  comparatively  easy  circumstances  in 
Europe,  there  are  strong  inducements  to  emigrate  to  America. 
Most  of  the  governments  are  arbitrary,  the  taxes  are  oppres- 
sive, the  exactions  of  military  service  onerous  in  the  extreme. 
Add  to  all  this  the  harassing  insecurity  of  life.  For  sixty  or 
seventy  years  the  Continent  has  been  one  wide  theater  of 
scarcely  intermitted  convulsion.  Every  country  in  it  has  been 
involved  in  war;  there  is  scarcely  one  that  has  not  passed 
through  a  revolution.  We  read  of  events  like  these  in  the 
newspapers,  we  look  upon  them  with  curiosity  as  articles  of 
mere  intelligence,  or  they  awaken  images  of  our  own  revolu- 
tion, which  we  regard  only  with  -joyous  associations.  Far  dif- 
ferent the  state  of  things  in  crowded  Europe,  of  which  the  fair- 
est fields  are  trampled  in  every  generation  by  mighty  armies 
into  bloody  mire !  Dazzled  by  the  brilliancy  of  the  military 
exploits  of  which  we  read  at  a  safe  distance,  we  forget  the 
anxieties  of  those  who  grow  up  within  the  sound  of  the  can- 
non's roar,  whose  prospects  in  life  are  ruined,  their  business 
broken  up,  their  little  accumulations  swept  away  by  the  bank- 
ruptcy of  governments  or  the  general  paralysis  of  the  industry 
of  the  country,  their  sons  torn  from  them  by  ruthless  conscrip- 
tions, the  means  of  educating  and  bringing  up  their  families 
consumed  in  a  day  by  disastrous  emergencies.  Terrified  by 


the  recent  experience  or  the  tradition  of  these  miseries,  thou- 
sands emigrate  to  the  land  of  promise,  flying  before,  not  merely 
the  presence,  but  the  "rumor  of  war,"  which  the  Great  Teacher 
places  on  a  level  with  the  reality. 

Ever  and  anon  some  sharp  specific  catastrophe  gives  an  in- 
tense activity  to  emigration.  When  France,  in  the  lowest 
depth  of  her  Revolution,  plunged  to  a  lower  depth  of  suffering 
and  crime,  when  the  Reign  of  Terror  was  enthroned,  and  when 
everything  in  any  way  conspicuous,  whether  for  station,  wealth, 
talent,  or  service,  of  every  age  and  of  either  sex,  from  the  crowned 
monarch  to  the  gray-haired  magistrate  and  the  timid  maiden, 
was  brought  to  the  guillotine,  hundreds  of  thousands  escaped 
at  once  from  the  devoted  kingdom.  The  convulsions  of  San 
Domingo  drove  most  of  the  European  population  of  that  island 
to  the  United  States.  But  beyond  everything  else  which  has 
been  witnessed  in  modern  times,  the  famine  which  prevailed  a 
few  years  since  in  Ireland  gave  a  terrific  impulse  to  emigration. 
Not  less,  probably,  than  one  million  of  her  inhabitants  left  her 
shores  within  five  years.  The  population  of  this  island,  as  highly 
favored  in  the  gifts  of  nature  as  any  spot  on  the  face  of  the  earth, 
has  actually  diminished  more  than  1,800,000  since  the  famine 
year ; 1  the  only  example,  perhaps,  in  history,  of  a  similar  result 
in  a  country  not  visited  by  foreign  war  or  civil  convulsion.  The 
population  ought,  in  the  course  of  nature,  to  have  increased 
within  ten  years  by  at  least  that  amount ;  and  in  point  of  fact, 
between  1840  and  1850,  our  own  population  increased  by  more 
than  six  millions. 

This  prodigious  increase  of  the  population  of  the  United 
States  is  partly  owing  to  the  emigration  from  foreign  coun- 
tries, which  has  taken  place  under  the  influence  of  the  causes 
general  and  specific,  to  which  I  have  alluded.  Of  late  years, 
from  three  to  four  hundred  thousand  immigrants  are  registered 
at  the  several  customhouses,  as  arriving  in  this  country  in  the 
course  of  a  year.  It  is  probable  that  a  third  as  many  more 
enter  by  the  Canadian  frontier.  Not  much  less  than  two  mil- 
lions of  immigrants  are  supposed  to  have  entered  the  United 
States  in  the  last  ten  years ;  and  it  is  calculated  that  there  are 

1  London  Quarterly  Review  for  December,  1851,  p.  191. 


living  at  the  present  day  in  the  United  States  five  millions  of 
persons,  foreigners  who  have  immigrated  since  1790,  and  their 

There  is  nothing  in  the  annals  of  mankind  to  be  compared 
to  this;  but  there  is  a  series  of  great  movements  which  may 
be  contrasted  with  it.  In  the  period  of  a  thousand  years, 
which  began  about  three  or  four  hundred  years  before  our 
Saviour,  the  Roman  republic  and  empire  were  from  time  to 
time  invaded  by  warlike  races  from  the  North  and  East,  who 
burst  with  overwhelming  force  upon  the  South  and  West  of 
Europe,  and  repeatedly  carried  desolation  to  the  gates  of 
Rome.  These  multitudinous  invaders  were  not  armies  of 
men,  they  were  in  reality  nations  of  hostile  emigrants.  They 
came  with  their  wives,  with  their  " young  barbarians,"  with 
their  Scythian  cavalry,  and  their  herds  of  cattle ;  and  they 
came  with  no  purpose  of  going  away.  The  animus  manendi 
was  made  up  before  they  abandoned  their  ice-clad  homes ; 
they  left  their  Arctic  allegiance  behind  them.  They  found 
the  sunny  banks  of  the  Arno  and  the  Rhone  more  pleasant 
than  those  of  the  Don  and  the  Volga.  Unaccustomed  to  the 
sight  of  any  tree  more  inviting  than  the  melancholy  fir  and 
the  stunted  birch,  its  branches  glittering  with  snowy  crystals,  — 
brought  up  under  a  climate  where  the  generous  fruits  are  un- 
known, —  these  children  of  the  North  were  not  so  much  fasci- 
nated as  bewildered  "in  the  land  of  the  citron  and  myrtle"; 
they  gazed  with  delighted  astonishment  at  the  spreading  elm, 
festooned  with  Falernian  clusters ;  they  clutched,  with  a  kind 
of  frantic  joy,  at  the  fruit  of  the  fig  tree  and  the  olive ;  —  at 
the  melting  peach,  the  luscious  plum,  the  golden  orange,  and 
the  pomegranate,  whose  tinted  cheek  outblushes  everything 
but  the  living  carnation  of  youthful  love. 

With  grim  delight  the  brood  of  winter  view 
A  brighter  day  and  heavens  of  azure  hue, 
Scent  the  new  fragrance  of  the  breathing  rose, 
And  quaff  the  pendent  vintage  as  it  grows. 

By  the  fortune  of  war,  single  detachments  and  even  mighty 
armies  frequently  suffered  defeat ;  but  their  place  was  imme- 
diately taken  by  new  hordes,  which  fell  upon  declining  Rome 


as  the  famished  wolves  in  one  of  Catlin's  pictures  fall  upon 
an  aged  buffalo  in  our  Western  prairies.  The  imperial  mon- 
ster, powerful  even  in  his  decrepitude,  would  often  scatter 
their  undisciplined  array  with  his  iron  tusks,  and  trample  them 
by  thousands  under  his  brazen  feet ;  but  when  he  turned  back, 
torn  and  bleeding,  to  his  seven  hills,  tens  of  thousands  came 
howling  from  the  Northern  forests,  who  sprang  on  his  throat 
and  buried  their  fangs  in  his  lacerated  side.  Wherever  they 
conquered,  and  in  the  end  they  conquered  everywhere,  they 
established  themselves  on  the  soil,  invited  newcomers,  and 
from  their  union  with  the  former  inhabitants,  the  nations  of 
the  South  and  West  of  Europe,  at  the  present  day,  for  the 
most  part,  trace  their  descent. 

We  know  but  little  of  the  numbers  thus  thrown  in  upon 
the  Roman  republic  and  empire  in  the  course  of  eight  or  ten 
centuries.  They  were,  no  doubt,  greatly  exaggerated  by  the 
panic  fear  of  the  inhabitants ;  and  the  pride  of  the  Roman 
historians  would  lead  them  to  magnify  the  power  before  which 
their  own  legions  had  so  often  quailed.  But  when  we  consider 
the  difficulty  of  subsisting  a  large  number  of  persons  in  a  march 
through  an  unfriendly  country,  and  this  at  a  time  when  much  of 
the  now  cultivated  portion  of  Europe  was  covered  with  forest 
and  swamp,  I  am  disposed  to  think  that  the  hosts  which  for  a 
succession  of  centuries  overran  the  Roman  empire  did  not  in  the 
aggregate  exceed  in  numbers  the  immigrants  that  have  arrived  in 
the  United  States  since  1790.  In  other  words,  I  am  inclined  to 
believe,  that  within  the  last  sixty  years  the  Old  World  has  poured 
in  upon  the  United  States  a  number  of  persons  as  great,  with 
their  natural  increase,  as  Asia  sent  into  Europe  in  these  armed 
migrations  of  barbarous  races. 

Here,  of  course,  the  parallel  ends.  The  races  that  invaded 
Europe  came  to  lay  waste  and  to  subjugate;  the  hosts  that 
cross  the  Atlantic  are  peaceful  immigrants.  The  former 
burst  upon  the  Roman  empire,  and  by  oft-repeated  strokes 
beat  it  to  the  ground.  The  immigrants  to  America  from  all 
countries  come  to  cast  in  their  lot  with  the  native  citizens, 
and  to  share  with  us  this  great  inheritance  of  civil  and  religious 
liberty.  The  former  were  ferocious  barbarians,  half  clad  in 
skins,  speaking  strange  tongues,  worshipping  strange  gods  with 


bloody  rites.  The  latter  are  the  children  of  the  countries  from 
which  the  first  European  settlers  of  this  continent  proceeded, 
and  belong,  with  us,  to  the  great  common  family  of  Christendom. 
The  former  destroyed  the  culture  of  the  ancient  world,  and  it 
was  only  after  a  thousand  years  that  a  better  civilization  grew 
up  from  its  ruins.  The  millions  who  have  established  themselves 
in  America  within  sixty  years  are,  from  the  moment  of  their 
arrival,  gradually  absorbed  into  the  mass  of  the  population, 
conforming  to  the  laws  and  molding  themselves  to  the  manners 
of  the  country,  and  contributing  their  share  to  its  prosperity  and 

It  is  a  curious  coincidence,  that,  as  the  first  mighty  wave 
of  the  hostile  migration  that  burst  upon  Europe  before  the 
time  of  our  Saviour  consisted  of  tribes  belonging  to  the  great 
Celtic  race,  the  remains  of  which,  identified  by  their  original 
dialect,  are  still  found  in  Brittany,  in  Wales,  in  the  Highlands  of 
Scotland,  and  especially  in  Ireland,  so  by  far  the  greater  portion 
of  the  new  and  friendly  immigration  to  the  United  States  con- 
sists of  persons  belonging  to  the  same  ardent,  true-hearted,  and 
too  often  oppressed  race.  I  have  heard,  in  the  villages  of  Wales 
and  the  Highlands  of  Scotland,  the  Gospel  preached  in  sub- 
stantially the  same  language  in  which  Brennus  uttered  his 
haughty  summons  to  Rome,  and  in  which  the  mystic  songs  of 
the  Druids  were  chanted  in  the  depths  of  the  primeval  forests  of 
France  and  England,  in  the  time  of  Julius  Caesar.  It  is  still 
spoken  by  thousands  of  Scotch,  Welsh,  and  Irish  immigrants,  in 
all  parts  of  the  United  States.1 

1  A  learned  and  friendly  correspondent,  of  Welsh  origin,  is  of  opinion  that  I 
have  fallen  into  a  "  gross  error,  in  classing  the  Irish,  Welsh,  and  Scotch  as  one 
race  of  people,  or  Celts,  whose  language  is  the  same.  The  slightest  acquaintance," 
he  adds,  "with  the  Welsh  and  Irish  languages  would  convince  you  that  they  were 
totally  different.  A  Welshman  cannot  understand  one  word  of  Irish,  neither  can 
the  latter  understand  one  word  of  Welsh." 

In  a  popular  view  of  the  subject  this  may  be  correct,  in  like  manner  as  the 
Anglo-Saxon,  the  Teutonic,  and  Scandinavian  races  would,  in  a  popular  use  of  the 
terms,  be  considered  as  distinct  races,  speaking  languages  mutually  unintelligible. 
But  the  etymologist  regards  their  languages  as  substantially  the  same ;  and  ethno- 
graphically  these  nations  belong  to  one  and  the  same  stock. 

There  are  certainly  many  points,  in  reference  to  the  ancient  history  of  the  Celts, 
on  which  learned  men  greatly  differ,  and  at  which  it  was  impossible  that  I  should 
ever  glance  in  the  superficial  allusions  which  my  limits  admitted.  But  there  is  no 
point  on  which  ethnographers  are  better  agreed,  than  that  the  Bretons,  Welsh,  Irish, 


This  great  Celtic  race  is  one  of  the  most  remarkable  that 
has  appeared  in  history.  Whether  it  belongs  to  that  extensive 
Indo-European  family  of  nations,  which,  in  ages  before  the  dawn 
of  history,  took  up  a  line  of  march  in  two  columns  from  Lower 
India,  and,  moving  westward  by  both  a  northern  and  a  southern 
route,  finally  diffused  itself  over  Western  Asia,  Northern  Africa, 
and  the  greater  part  of  Europe ;  or  whether,  as  others  suppose, 
the  Celtic  race  belongs  to  a  still  older  stock,  and  was  itself  driven 
down  upon  the  South  and  into  the  West  of  Europe  by  the  over- 
whelming force  of  the  Indo-Europeans,  is  a  question  which  we 
have  no  time  at  present  to  discuss.  However  it  may  be  decided, 
it  would  seem  that  for  the  first  time,  as  far  as  we  are  acquainted 
with  the  fortunes  of  this  interesting  race,,  they  have  found 
themselves  in  a  really  prosperous  condition  in  this  country. 
Driven  from  the  soil  in  the  West  of  Europe,  to  which  their 
fathers  clung  for  two  thousand  years,  they  have  at  length, 
and  for  the  first  time  in  their  entire  history,  found  a  real  home 
in  a  land  of  strangers.  Having  been  told,  in  the  frightful  language 
of  political  economy,  that  at  the  daily  table  which  Nature  spreads 
for  the  human  family  there  is  no  cover  laid  for  them  in  Ireland, 
they  have  crossed  the  ocean,  to  find  occupation,  shelter,  and 
bread  on  a  foreign  but  friendly  soil. 

This  "  Celtic  Exodus,"  as  it  has  been  aptly  called,  is  to  all 
the  parties  immediately  connected  with  it  one  of  the  most 
important  events  of  the  day.  To  the  emigrants  themselves 
it  may  be  regarded  as  a  passing  from  death  to  life.  It  will 
benefit  Ireland  by  reducing  a  surplus  population,  and  restor- 
ing a  sounder  and  juster  relation  of  capital  and  labor.  It 
will  benefit  the  laboring  classes  in  England,  where  wages  have 
been  kept  down  to  the  starvation  point  by  the  struggle  between 
the  native  population  and  the  inhabitants  of  the  sister  island 
for  that  employment  and  food  of  which  there  is  not  enough  for 

and  Highland  Scotch  belong  to  the  Celtic  race,  representing,  no  doubt,  different 
national  families,  which  acquired  each  its  distinctive  dialect  at  a  very  early  period. 
Dr.  Prichard  (the  leading  authority  on  questions  of  this  kind),  after  comparing 
the  remains  of  the  ancient  Celtic  language,  as  far  as  they  can  now  be  traced  in 
proper  names,  says,  "We  must  hence  conclude  that  the  dialect  of  the  ancient 
Gauls  was  nearly  allied  to  the  Welsh,  and  much  more  remotely  related  to  the  Erse 
and  Gaelic."-  "Researches  into  the  Physical  History  of  Mankind,"  Vol.  Ill, 
p.  135.  See  also  Latham's  "  English  Language,"  p.  74. 


both.  This  benefit  will  extend  from  England  to  ourselves,  and 
will  lessen  the  pressure  of  the  competition  which  our  labor  is 
obliged  to  sustain,  with  the  ill-paid  labor  of  Europe.  In  addition 
to  all  this,  the  constant  influx  into  America  of  stout  and  efficient 
hands  supplies  the  greatest  want  in  a  new  country,  which  is 
that  of  labor,  gives  value  to  land,  and  facilitates  the  execution 
of  every  species  of  private  enterprise  and  public  work. 

I  am  not  insensible  to  the  temporary  inconveniences  which 
are  to  be  offset  against  these  advantages,  on  both  sides  of  the 
water.  Much  suffering  attends  the  emigrant  there,  on  his 
passage,  and  after  his  arrival.  It  is  possible  that  the  value 
of  our  native  labor  may  have  been  depressed  by  too  sudden 
and  extensive  a  supply  from  abroad;  and  it  is  certain  that 
our  asylums  and  almshouses  are  crowded  with  foreign  inmates, 
and  that  the  resources  of  public  and  private  benevolence  have 
been  heavily  drawn  upon.  These  are  considerable  evils,  but  they 
have  perhaps  been  exaggerated. 

It  must  be  remembered,  in  the  first  place,  that  the  immi- 
gration daily  pouring  in  from  Europe  is  by  no  means  a  pauper 
immigration.  On  the  contrary,  it  is  already  regarded  with 
apprehension  abroad,  as  occasioning  a  great  abstraction  of 
capital.  How  the  case  may  be  in  Great  Britain  and  Ireland, 
I  have  seen  no  precise  statement ;  but  it  is  asserted,  on  appar- 
ently good  grounds,  that  the  consumption  and  abstraction  of 
capital  caused  by  immigration  from  Germany  amounts  annu- 
ally to  twenty  millions  of  rix-dollars,  or  fifteen  millions  of  our 

No  doubt,  foreign  immigration  is  attended  with  an  influx 
of  foreign  pauperism.  In  reference  to  this,  I  believe  your 
system  of  public  relief  is  better  here  in  New  York  than  ours 
in  Massachusetts,  in  which,  however,  we  are  making  impor- 
tant changes.  It  is  said,  that,  owing  to  some  defect  in  our 
system,  or  its  administration,  we  support  more  than  our 
share  of  needy  foreigners.  They  are  sent  in  upon  us  from  other 

1  In  an  instructive  article  relative  to  the  German  emigration  in  Otto  Hiibner's 
"  Jahrbuch  fiir  Volkswirthschaft  und  Statistik,"  the  numbers  who  emigrated  from 
Germany,  from  1846  to  1851  inclusive,  are  estimated  to  have  amounted  to  an 
annual  average  of  96,676,  and  the  amount  of  capital  abstracted  by  them  from  the 
country  to  an  average  of  19,370,333  .rix-dollars  (about  fifteen  million  Spanish 
dollars)  per  annum. 


States.  New  York,  as  the  greatest  seaport,  must  be  exposed 
also  to  more  than  her  proportionate  share  of  the  burden.  How- 
ever the  evil  arises,  it  may  no  doubt  be  mitigated  by  judicious 
legislation ;  and  in  the  meantime  Massachusetts  and  New  York 
might  do  a  worse  thing  with  a  portion  of  their  surplus  means  than 
feed  the  hungry,  clothe  the  naked,  give  a  home  to  the  stranger, 
and  kindle  the  spark  of  reason  in  the  mind  of  the  poor  foreign 
lunatic,  even  though  that  lunatic  may  have  been  (as  I  am 
ashamed,  for  the  credit  of  humanity,  to  say  has  happened)  set 
on  shore  in  the  night  from  a  coasting  vessel,  and  found  in  the 
morning  in  the  fields,  half  dead  with  cold,  and  hunger,  and  fright. 

But  you  say,  "They  are  foreigners."  Well,  do  we  owe  no 
duties  to  foreigners?  What  was  the  founder  of  Virginia,  when 
a  poor  Indian  girl  threw  herself  between  him  and  the  war- 
club  of  her  father,  and  saved  his  life  at  the  risk  of  her  own? 
What  were  the  Pilgrim  Fathers,  when  the  friendly  savage,  if 
we  must  call  him  so,  met  them  with  his  little  vocabulary  of 
kindness,  learned  among  the  fishermen  on  the  Grand  Bank,  - 
"Welcome,  Englishmen"?  "They  are  foreigners."  And  suppose 
they  are  ?  Was  not  the  country  all  but  ready,  a  year  or  two  ago, 
to  plunge  into  a  conflict  with  the  military  despotisms  of  the  East 
of  Europe,  in  order  to  redress  the  wrongs  of  the  oppressed  races 
who  feed  their  flocks  on  the  slopes  of  the  Carpathians,  and  pasture 
their  herds  upon  the  tributaries  of  the  Danube,  and  do  we  talk 
of  the  hardship  of  relieving  destitute  foreigners,  whom  the  hand 
of  God  has  guided  across  the  ocean  and  conducted  to  our  doors  ? 

Must  we  learn  a  lesson  of  benevolence  from  the  ancient 
heathen?  Let  us  then  learn  it.  The  whole  theater  at  Rome 
stood  up  and  shouted  their  sympathetic  applause,  when  the 
actor  in  one  of  Terence's  plays  exclaimed,  "I  am  a  man ;  nothing 
that  is  human  is  foreign  to  me." 

I  am  not  indifferent  to  the  increase  of  the  public  burdens; 
but  the  time  has  been  when  I  have  felt  a  little  proud  of  the 
vast  sums  paid  in  the  United  States  for  the  relief  of  poor 
immigrants  from  Europe.  It  is  an  annual  sum,  I  have  no 
doubt,  equal  to  the  interest  on  the  foreign  debt  of  the  States 
which  have  repudiated  their  obligations.  When  I  was  in 
London,  a  few  years  ago,  I  received  a  letter  from  one  of  the 
interior  counties  of  England,  telling  me  that  they  had  in  their 


house  of  correction  an  American  seaman,  (or  a  person  who 
pretended  to  be,)  who  from  their  account  seemed  to  be  both 
pauper  and  rogue.  They  were  desirous  of  being  rid  of  him, 
and  kindly  offered  to  place  him  at  my  disposal.  Although 
he  did  not  bid  fair  to  be  a  very  valuable  acquisition,  I  wrote 
back  that  he  might  be  sent  to  London,  where,  if  he  was  a  sailor, 
he  could  be  shipped  by  the  American  Consul  to  the  United 
States,  if  not,  to  be  disposed  of  in  some  other  way.  I  ventured 
to  add  the  suggestion,  that  if  her  Majesty's  Minister  at  Washing- 
ton were  applied  to  in  a  similar  way  by  the  overseers  of  the  poor 
and  wardens  of  the  prisons  in  the  United  States,  he  would  be 
pretty  busily  occupied.  But  I  really  felt  pleased,  at  a  time  when 
my  own  little  State  of  Massachusetts  was  assisting  from  ten  to 
twelve  thousand  destitute  British  subjects  annually,  to  be  able 
to  relieve  the  British  empire,  on  which  the  sun  never  sets,  of  the 
only  American  pauper  quartered  upon  it. 


THERE  is  nothing  so  dry  as  statistics,  nothing  which  falls  so 
dully  on  the  listening  ear  as  the  recitation  of  many  figures, 
not  figures  of  speech  but  of  enumeration.  It  is  also  very  difficult 
to  grasp  the  important  statistics  by  merely  hearing  them  read, 
and  yet  it  is  impossible  to  deal  with  the  question  of  immigration 
without  them.  To  comprehend  the  subject  at  all  the  very  first 
step  is  to  realize  what  the  number  of  immigrants  to  this  country 
has  been,  and,  further,  to  trace  by  the  figures  the  changes  which 
have  occurred  in  the  character  and  origin  of  the  immigration.  I 
have  here  a  table  which  shows  the  number  of  immigrants  to 
this  country  during  the  past  forty  years,  that  is,  since  the  close 
of  the  Civil  War,  and  I  also  have  tables  showing  the  countries 
from  which  the  immigrants  come  and  which  reveal  the  changes 
of  nationality,  or  rather  the  change  in  the  proportion  of  the 
nationalities  of  which  our  immigration  has  been  composed.  I 
will  not  read  to  you  these  long  lists  of  figures  because  it  would 
simply  be  confusing  and  they  can  really  only  be  properly  studied 
in  detail  when  printed,  as  I  hope  they  may  be.  I  shall  confine 
myself  to  an  analysis  of  them  by  which  you  will  be  enabled  to 
understand  what  they  signify.  In  the  first  place,  the  number 
of  foreign  immigrants  to  this  country  during  the  past  forty  years 
reaches  the  enormous  total  of  19,001,195.  Since  the  formation  of 
the  Government,  twenty-four  millions  of  people,  speaking  in 
round  numbers,  have  come  into  the  United  States  as  immigrants, 
and  of  that  number,  still  speaking  in  round  numbers,  twenty- 
two  millions  have  come  from  Europe.  Of  the  twenty-two  mil- 
lions from  Europe,  seven  and  a  half  millions  were  from  the 
United  Kingdom,  over  four  millions  of  these  being  from  Ireland, 
and  nearly  three  millions  from  England ;  over  five  millions  were 
from  Germany,  and  nearly  a  million  and  a  half  were  from  Norway 

1  Reprinted  from  address  delivered  at  Boston  City  Club,  March  20,  1900. 



and  Sweden,  two  and  one  half  millions  each  from  Austria- 
Hungary  and  Italy,  and  two  millions  from  Russia,  including 

During  the  decade  1880-1890  there  was  for  the  first  time 
large  immigration  from  Italy,  Austria-Hungary,  and  Russia. 

In  the  decade  1890-1900  there  was  a  marked  reduction  in 
arrivals  from  Germany,  Ireland,  England,  Scotland,  and  Norway 
and  Sweden,  and  great  increase  from  Italy,  Austria-Hungary, 
and  Russia. 

Immigration  from  France,  never  large  (average  about  five 
thousand  a  year),  decreased  in  the  decade  1890-1900,  but  has 
since  increased. 

The  first  point  to  be  observed  here  is  the  size  of  this  huge  total 
of  nineteen  millions.  It  is  safe  to  say  that  there  has  never  been 
in  the  history  of  the  world  such  a  movement  of  peoples  as  these 
figures  represent.  Neither  ancient  nor  modern  history  discloses 
any  such  migration  as  this.  The  great  influx  of  barbarians  into 
Europe  after  the  fall  of  the  Roman  Empire,  so  far  as  we  can 
determine  from  all  extant  accounts,  was  small  compared  to  the 
immigration  to  this  country  within  the  lifetime  of  a  single  gen- 
eration. Moreover,  the  largest  movements,  numerically  speak- 
ing, at  the  time  of  the  dissolution  of  the  Roman  Empire,  were 
flung  back  by  the  forcible  resistance  of  the  people  of  Europe, 
where  Romans  and  Teutons  united  to  arrest  the  advance  of  Huns, 
Tartars,  and  Scythians.  These  were  all,  like  our  own,  voluntary 
migrations,  although,  unlike  ours,  they  were  armed  invaders 
instead  of  peaceful  citizens.  On  the  other  hand,  there  is  cer- 
tainly no  record  of  any  forced  migration  which  can  compare  for 
a  moment  in  numbers  with  the  voluntary  immigration  to  this 
country.  Probably  the  largest  forced  immigration  which  the 
world  has  ever  seen  was  that  which  brought  negroes  from  Africa 
to  the  two  Americas,  and  yet  in  all  the  two  centuries  or  more  of 
the  African  slave  trade,  the  total  numbers  of  negroes  actually 
brought  to  the  Americas  would  fall  far  short  of  the  millions  who 
have  come  to  the  United  States  in  the  last  forty  years.  Such  a 
displacement  of  population,  and  such  a  movement  of  peoples  as 
this  is  in  itself  a  historic  event  of  great  magnitude  deserving  the 
most  careful  consideration ;  but  what  we  are  concerned  with  is  its 
effect  upon,  and  its  meaning  to,  the  people  of  the  United  States 


and  the  future  of  our  country.  The  problem  which  confronts 
us  is  whether  we  are  going  to  be  able  to  assimilate  this  vast  body 
of  people,  to  indoctrinate  them  with  our  ideals  of  government, 
and  with  our  political  habits,  and  also  whether  we  can  main- 
tain the  wages  and  the  standards  of  living  among  our  working- 
men  in  the  presence  of  such  a  vast  and  rapid  increase  of  popu- 
lation. In  what  I  am  about  to  say  I  have  no  reflections  to  cast 
upon  the  people  of  any  race  or  any  nationality,  and  I  say  this 
because  it  is  the  practice  of  the  demagogue  who  neither  knows 
nor  cares  anything  about  the  seriousness  of  this  question  to  en- 
deavor to  make  political  capital  among  voters  of  foreign  birth 
by  proclaiming  that  any  effort  to  deal  intelligently  with  the 
question  is  directed  against  them  individually.  The  question 
is  just  as  important  to  the  citizen  of  foreign  birth  who  took  out 
his  naturalization  papers  yesterday  and  thus  cast  in  his  lot  and 
the  future  hopes  of  his  children  with  the  fortunes  of  the  United 
States,  as  it  is  to  the  man  whose  ancestors  settled  here  two  or 
three  hundred  years  ago.  To  all  true  Americans,  no  matter  what 
their  race  or  birthplace,  this  question  is  of  vast  moment  in  the 
presence  of  such  a  vast  and  rapid  increase  of  population.  I  am 
not  here  to-night  to  make  arguments  or  appeals,  still  less  to  reflect 
upon  any  people  or  any  race  either  here  or  elsewhere.  I  shall 
deal  simply  with  the  conditions  of  the  problem  and  the  facts  of 
the  case,  and  leave  it  to  you  to  draw  your  own  inferences  and 
determine  what  in  your  opinion  ought  to  be  done. 

The  thirteen  colonies  which  asserted  their  independence  and 
compelled  England  after  a  long  war  to  recognize  it,  were  chiefly 
populated  by  men  of  the  English  race,  immigrants  from  England 
and  from  the  Lowlands  of  Scotland.  These  people  were  in  an 
overwhelming  majority  in  all  the  colonies,  and  especially  in 
New  England.  In  New  York  there  were  the  Dutch  who  had 
founded  the  colony.  They  were  not  very  numerous  compared 
with  the  entire  population  of  all  the  colonies  and  were  practically 
confined  to  their  original  settlement.  Of  kindred  race  with  the 
predominant  English  they  were  a  strong,  vigorous  people  and 
furnished  an  element  of  great  importance  and  value  in  the  colonial 

In  the  eighteenth  century  there  was  an  immigration  of  Hugue- 
not Frenchmen  which  was  scattered  all  through  the  various 


colonies,  and  which,  although  comparatively  small  in  numbers, 
was  of  a  most  admirable  quality.  There  was  also  a  considerable 
immigration  of  Germans  from  the  Palatinate,  and  of  people  from 
the  North  of  Ireland  known  generally  as  Scotch-Irish.  These 
Germans  and  Scotch-Irish  settled  chiefly  in  Western  Pennsyl- 
vania, Virginia,  and  North  Carolina.  They  were  good  robust 
stocks  and  added  to  the  strength  as  well  as  the  number  of  .the 
population.  Immigration  to  the  colonies  from  other  sources 
than  those  which  I  have  mentioned  was  trifling,  and,  speaking 
bfoadly^the  thirteen  colonies,  at  the  time  of  the  Revolution, 
had  an  overwhelming  majority  of  inhabitants  who  were  English 
speaking  and  who  came  from  Great  Britain  and  Ireland.  It 
was  this  population  which  fought  the  Revolution  and  adopted 
the  Constitution  of  the  United  States.  Our  political  institutions 
and  bur  governments,  both  State  and  National,  were  founded 
by  and  for  these  people,  and  in  accord  with  their  ideals  and 
their  traditions.  They  were  a  homogeneous  people,  and  the 
institutions  which  they  thus  established  were  essentially  their 
own,  were  thoroughly  understood  by  them,  and  suited  them  in 
every  respect.  The  soundness  of  our  political  system  has  been 
demonstrated  by  more  than  a  hundred  years  of  existence  and 
by  the  manner  in  which  it  has  surmounted  great  strains  and 
perils.  But  the  population  of  the  country,  in  the  meantime, 
has  changed,  largely  by  the  processes  of  immigration,  and  one 
of  the  great  problems,  both  in  the  present  and  in  the  future,  is 
to  determine  whether  these  political  institutions,  founded  more 
than  a  century  ago,  can  be  adapted  to,  and  adopted  by,  the 
population  of  the  United  States  as  it  is  to-day  constituted. 

Let  me  now  review  very  briefly  the  changes  in  our  immi- 
gration. The  first  great  immigration  was  that  from  Ireland, 
which  began  in  the  forties  after  the  Great  Famine,  and  which  has 
continued,  although  in  diminishing  numbers,  to  the  present 
time.  This  Irish  immigration  came  from  all  parts  of  the  island 
and  was  no  longer  confined  principally  to  the  North  as  it  had 
been  in  the  Colonial  days.  The  Irish  spoke  the  same  language 
as  the  people  of  the  United  States,  they  had  the  same  traditions 
oi '  government  and  they  had  for  centuries  associated  and  inter- 
married with  the  people  of  Great  Britain.  Without  dwelling 
on  their  proved  value  as  an  element  of  the  population,  it  is  enough 


to  say  that  they  presented  no  difficulties  of  assimilation,  and 
they  adopted  and  sustained  our  system  of  government  as  easily 
as  the  people  of  the  earlier  settlement.  At  a  slightly  later  period 
began  the  great  German  immigration  to  the  United  States, 
followed  in  time  by  the  Scandinavian.  There  could  not  be  a 
better  addition  to  any  population  than  was  furnished  by  both 
these  people.  They  spoke,  it  is  true,  a  different  language,  but 
they  were  of  the  same  race  as  the  people  who  had  made  them- 
selves masters  of  Great  Britain,  so  they  assimilated  at  once 
with  the  people  of  the  United  States,  for  the  process  was  merely 
a  reblending  of  kindred  stocks.  But  the  German  and  the  Scandi- 
navian immigration  has  diminished  of  late  years,  and,  relatively 
to  the  other  races  which  have  recently  begun  to  come,  has  di- 
minished very  greatly.  Later  than  any  of  these  was  the  immigra- 
tion of  French  Canadians,  but  which  has  assumed  large  propor- 
tions and  has  become  a  strong  and  most  valuable  element  of 
our  population.  But  the  French  of  Canada  scarcely  come  within 
the  subject  we  are  considering  because  they  are  hardly  to  be 
classed  as  immigrants  in  the  accepted  sense.  They  represent 
one  of  the  oldest  settlements  on  this  continent.  They  have 
been,  in  the  broad  sense,  Americans  for  generations,  and  their 
coming  to  the  United  States  is  merely  a  movement  of  Americans 
across  an  imaginary  line  from  one  part  of  America  to  another. 

Within  the  last  twenty  years,  however,  there  has  been  a  great 
change  in  the  proportion  of  the  various  nationalities  immigrating 
from  Europe  to  the  United  States.  The  immigrants  from  Great 
Britain  and  Ireland,  and  from  Germany  and  Scandinavia  have 
gone  down  in  numbers  as  compared  with  immigrants  from  coun- 
tries which,  until  very  recent  years,  sent  no  immigrants  to 
America.  We  have  never  received,  and  do  not  now  receive,  any 
immigration  from  Spain,  or  any  considerable  immigration  from 
France  and  Belgium.  The  great  growth  in  recent  years  in  our 
immigration  has  been  from  Italy,  from  Poland,  Hungary,  and 
Russia,  from  Eastern  Europe,  from  subjects  of  the  Sultan,  and 
is  now  extending  to  the  inhabitants  of  Asia  Minor.  With  the 
exception  of  the  Italians  these  people  have  never  been  amal- 
gamated with,  or  brought  in  contact  with,  the  English-speaking 
people,  or  with  those  of  France,  Germany,  Holland,  and  Scandi- 
navia who  have  built  up  the  United  States.  I  except  the  Italians 


not  merely  because  their  noble  literature  and  splendid  art  are 
a  part  of  our  inheritance  but  because  they  are  conspicuously 
one  of  the  countries  which  belong  to  what  is  known  as  Western 
civilization.  They,  like  ourselves,  are  the  heirs  of  the  civilization 
of  Ancient  Rome,  and  until  one  has  traveled  in  Eastern  Europe 
and  studied  the  people  one  does  not  realize  how  much  this 

I  am  not  concerned  here  with  whether  the  civilization  of  Rome 
was  better  than  that  of  Byzantium,  or  of  the  Orient,  or  of  China. 
I  merely  state  the  fact  that  the  civilization  of  Rome  was  a  widely 
different  civilization  from  the  others,  and  that  it  was  the  civiliza- 
tion whose  ideas  we  have  inherited.  In  Eastern  Europe  the  people 
fell  heirs,  not  to  the  civilization  of  Rome,  but  to  that  of  Byzan- 
tium, of  the  Greeks  of  the  Lower  Empire.  As  an  example  of 
what  I  mean,  the  idea  of  patriotism,  that  is,  of  devotion  to  one's 
country,  is  Roman,  while  the  idea  of  devotion  to  the  Emperor, 
the  head  of  the  State,  is  Byzantine.  I  point  out  these  differences 
merely  as  conditions  of  the  problem  of  assimilation  which  we 
have  presented  to  us. 

I  wish  next  to  call  your  attention  to  the  manner  in  which  this 
question  of  immigration  has  been  dealt  with  by  the  successive 
laws  passed  by  Congress.  Let  me  begin  by  making  clear  one 
point  which  I  think  is  sometimes  overlooked.  Every  independent 
nation  has,  and  must  have,  an  absolute  right  to  determine  who 
shall  come  into  the  country ;  and,  secondly,  who  shall  become 
a  part  of  its  citizenship,  and  on  what  terms.  We  cannot,  in  fact, 
conceive  of  an  independent  nation  which  does  not  possess  this 
power,  for  if  one  nation  can  compel  another  to  admit  its  people, 
the  nation  thus  compelled  is  a  subject  and  dependent  nation. 
The  power  of  the  American  people  to  determine  who  shall  come 
into  this  country,  and  on  what  terms,  is  absolute,  and  by  the 
American  people  I  mean  its  citizens  at  any  given  moment, 
whether  native  born  or  naturalized,  whose  votes  control  the 
Government.  I  state  this  explicitly,  because  there  seems  to  be 
a  hazy  idea  in  some  minds  that  the  inhabitants  of  other  countries 
have  a  right,  an  inalienable  right,  to  come  into  the  United  States. 
No  one  has  a  right  to  come  into  the  United  States,  or  become 
part  of  its  citizenship,  except  by  permission  of  the  people  of  the 
United  States.  The  power,  therefore,  of  Congress  as  representing 


\  all  the  people,  is  absolute,  and  they  can  make  any  laws  they  deem 
wise,  from  complete  prohibition  down,  in  regard  to  immigration. 
"  The  laws  regulating  immigration  are  of  two  kinds,  —  restric- 
tive and  selective.  The  only  restrictive  legislation  in  regard 
to  immigration  into  the  United  States  is  that  which  is  to  be  found 
in  the  Chinese  Exclusion  Acts.  All  the  rest  of  our  immigration 
legislation,  although  it  has  a  somewhat  restrictive  effect  very 
often,  is  purely  selective  in  character.  We  have  determined  by 
law  that  the  criminal  and  the  diseased,  that  women  imported 
for  immoral  purposes  and  laborers  brought  here  under  contract, 
shall  be  excluded,  and  we  also  undertake  to  exclude  what  are 
known  as  "assisted  immigrants,"  those  whose  expenses  are  paid 
for  them  by  others,  whether  individuals,  corporations,  or  govern- 
ments, because  it  is  believed  that  such  immigrants  are  paupers 
and  likely  to  become  a  public  charge.  I  will  give  you  the  figures 
which  show  the  results  of  these  provisions  of  our  statutes,  and 
which  are  as  follows : 








2  OIO 


1  3 

2  7OO 

1807     . 




1,  6l7 

1898                    .... 

2  261 



•7  O3O 

1800     . 






2  Q74. 





2  70S 



3  Cl6 


5  812 

I  086 

i  871 

8  760 

1  004. 

A    708 

I   ^OI 

I  6(K 



7  808 

I  164 

2  418 

1  1  480 


7  060 

2  314. 

•3  O4O 



6  866 

I  4.34 


I  3  064 





In  considering  these  statistics,  it  must  be  remembered  that 
these  laws  are  largely  preventive  and  that  the  number  of  diseased, 
pauper,  and  criminal  immigrants  actually  excluded  and  deported 
are  only  a  very  small  part  of  these  classes  who  would  come  if 
there  were  no  such  laws,  but  who  never  leave  Europe  for  the 
United  States  because  these  laws  exist. 


Of  the  wisdom  of  all  these  measures  which  shut  out  the  undesir- 
able immigrants  just  described,  I  do  not  think  there  is  much 
question  anywhere ;  but  there  is  great  resistance  to  their  enforce- 
ment, especially  from  interested  parties,  like  steamship  com- 
panies and  large  employers,  who  desire  an  unlimited  supply  of 
cheap  labor.  So  far  as  the  diseased  immigrants  go,  the  laws  are 
pretty  thoroughly  enforced,  although  there  is  a  continual  pressure, 
for  sentimental  reasons,  to  set  the  law  aside  and  admit  the  physi- 
cally unfit  in  special  cases,  which  constantly  recur.  To  those 
who  resist  our  immigration  laws  and  who  strive  to  make  polit- 
ical capital  by  opposing  them,  as  well  as  to  all  law-abiding  and 
liberty-loving  Americans,  I  would,  in  this  connection,  point 
out  some  of  the  results  of  our  still  inadequate  statutes  and  of  our 
inefficient  enforcement  of  those  which  exist.  Within  the  past 
few  weeks  we  have  seen  a  beloved  priest  devoted  to  good  works 
brutally  murdered,  while  in  the  performance  of  his  sacred  func- 
tions, by  an  alien  immigrant.  We  have  seen  a  murderous  assault 
by  an  alien  immigrant  upon  the  Chief  of  Police  of  a  great  city, 
not  to  avenge  any  personal  wrong,  but  because  he  represented 
law  and  order.  Every  day  we  read  in  the  newspapers  of  savage 
murders  by  members  of  secret  societies  composed  of  alien  immi- 
grants. Can  we  doubt,  in  the  presence  of  such  horrible  facts 
as  these,  the  need  of  stringent  laws  and  rigid  enforcement,  to 
exclude  the  criminals  and  the  anarchists  of  foreign  countries 
from  the  United  States  ?  The  exclusion  of  criminals  is  now  very 
imperfect,  and  one  of  the  efforts  of  the  Immigration  Commission 
is  to  get  sufficient  information  to  enable  us  to  make  laws  on  this 
all-important  point  which  shall  be  effective.  The  laws  against 
contract  labor  are  constantly  evaded,  but  the  immigration  act 
passed  last  year  provided  an  annual  appropriation  of  $50,000 
which  is  to  be  used  in  the  enforcement  of  the  clause  excluding 
contract  laborers,  the  importance  of  which  cannot  be  overesti- 
mated. The  laws  against  assisted  immigrants  are  also,  I  am  sorry 
to  say,  in  a  great  measure  ineffective,  owing  to  the  ease  of  eva- 
sion; and  here  again,  we  hope,  by  the  investigations  of  the 
Immigration  Commission,  to  secure  information  which  shall 
enable  us  to  make  decided  improvements  in  this  direction. 

The  question  of  immigration  is  emphatically  one  of  a  per- 
manent character.  There  can  be  no  finality  in  our  legislation, 


which  must,  in  the  nature  of  the  case,  be  constantly  open  to 
improvement  in  its  provisions  and  in  administrative  arrange- 

^ments.  There  is  also  a  growing  and  constantly  active  demand 
for  more  restrictive  legislation.  This  demand  rests  on  two 
grounds,  both  equally  important.  One  is  the  effect  upon  the 
quality  of  our  citizenship  caused  by  the  rapid  introduction  of 
this  vast  and  practically  unrestricted  immigration,  and  the  other, 
the  effect  of  this  immigration  upon  rates  of  wages  and  the  stand- 

v  ard  of  living  among  our  working  people.  The  first  ground  is 
too  large  and  too  complex  to  be  discussed  in  a  brief  address ;  but 
the  second  is  so  obvious  that  it  is  easy  to  make  it  understood  in 
a  few  words.  I  have  always  regarded  high  wages  and  high 
standards  of  living  for  our  working  people  as  absolutely  necessary 
to  the  success  of  our  form  of  government,  which  is  a  representa- 
tive democracy.  It  is  idle  to  suppose  that  those  rates  of  wages 
can  be  maintained,  and  those  standards  of  living  be  held  up  to 
the  point  where  they  ought  to  be  kept,  if  we  throw  our  labor 
market  open  to  countless  hordes  of  cheaper  labor  from  all  parts 
of  the  globe.  This  incompatibility  between  American  standards 
of  living  and  unrestricted  immigration  became  apparent  to 
the  great  mass  of  our  people  in  the  case  of  the  Chinese,  and  the 
result  was  the  Chinese  Exclusion  Acts.  But  what  applies  to  the 
Chinese  applies  equally  to  all  Asiatic  labor.  We  have  heard  a 
great  deal  lately  about  Japanese  immigration,  but  it  is  not  a 
subject  which  ought  to  lead,  or  which  will  lead,  to  any  ill-feeling 
between  the  two  countries.  Japan,  now,  by  Imperial  edicts, 
excludes  workingmen  of  all  nations,  except  under  strict  restric- 
tions in  a  few  of  what  are  known  as  Treaty  Ports,  and  she  excludes 
the  Chinese  altogether.  Japan  does  not  expect,  and  no  nation 
can  expect,  that  she  should  have  the  right  to  force  her  people 
on  another  nation,  and  there  is  no  more  cause  for  offense  in  the 
desire  of  our  people  in  the  Western  States  to  exclude  Japanese 
immigrants  than  there  is  in  the  Japanese  edicts  which  now  exclude 
our  working  people  from  Japan.  Moreover,  the  sentiment  of 
our  people  is  not  peculiar  to  the  United  States.  It  is,  if  anything, 
more  fervent  in  British  Columbia  than  in  California.  The  people 
of  Australia  exclude  the  Chinese  just  as  we  do,  and  it  may  as 
well  be  frankly  stated  that  the  white  race  will  not  admit  Asiatic 
labor  to  compete  with  their  own  in  their  own  countries.  Nothing 


is  more  fatal,  in  this  connection,  than  to  make  trite  economic 
arguments  and  talk  about  the  survival  of  the  fittest.  The  white 
race  of  Western  America,  whether  in  Canada  or  in  the  United 
States,  will  not  suffer  the  introduction  of  Asiatic  labor,  and  as 
for  the  saying  "the  survival  of  the  fittest,"  the  people  who  use 
that  phrase  never  complete  it.  The  whole  statement  is  "the 
survival  of  the  fittest  to  survive,"  which  is  something  very  dif- 
ferent from  the  survival  of  what  is  abstractly  the  best.  If  I  may 
use  an  illustration  employed  by  Mr.  Speaker  Reed,  I  can  make 
my  point  clear  to  your  minds.  The  bull  of  Bashan  is  always 
spoken  of  as  a  singularly  noble  animal,  and  the  little  minnow, 
or  shiner,  which  you  can  see  in  shallow  water  anywhere  on  our 
coast,  is  a  much  lower  form  of  life :  but  if  you  cast  the  bull  of 
Bashan  and  the  minnow  together  into  the  middle  of  the  Atlantic 
Ocean,  the  bull  will  drown  and  the  minnow  will  survive  in  that 
environment.  Yet  is  the  bull  of  Bashan  none  the  less  the  nobler 
animal.  In  the  environment  of  Chinese  labor,  our  labor  could 
not  long  survive  as  we  desire  it  to  exist,  and,  therefore,  by  an 
overmastering  instinct,  our  people  of  the  West  are  determined 
not  to  admit  Asiatic  labor  to  this  country,  whether  it  is  Chinese, 
Japanese,  or  Hindoo.  I  think  that  by  and  by  our  working  people 
of  the  Eastern  States  will  begin  to  question  whether  they  desire 
to  have  Arabs,  who  I  see  are  planning  to  come  in  large  numbers, 
and  other  people  from  Asia  Minor  and  the  west  of  Asia,  pour 
into  this  country.  I  am  not  here  to  argue  this  question,  but 
merely  to  call  attention  to  some  facts  for  your  consideration, 
and  this  ominous  fact  which  I  have  just  mentioned  is  one. 

Many  people  believe  that  we  should  also  go  a  step  further 
in  our  general  legislation,  and  add  ignorance  to  poverty,  disease, 
and  criminality  as  a  valid  ground  for  exclusion.  Congress  passed 
a  bill  containing  a  provision  of  this  sort,  which  was  vetoed  by 
Mr.  Cleveland.  The  same  provision  has  come  up  again  and  again, 
and  has  passed  the  Senate  more  than  once.  Those  who  advocate 
it  maintain  that  it  excludes  in  practice,  and  with  few  exceptions, 
only  undesirable  immigrants.  Here,  again,  I  shall  not  attempt 
to  argue  the  question  with  you,  but  will  merely  point  out  the 
number  of  persons  who  would  have  been  excluded  since  1896 
if  the  illiterates  over  fourteen  years  of  age  had  been  thrown  out. 
During  that  period,  as  shown  by  the  table  which  I  shall  give, 


the  illiterates  who,  by  their  own  admission,  could  neither  read 
nor  write  in  any  language,  numbered  1,829,320.  The  figures 
in  detail  are  as  follows : 

1896 83,196 

1897 44,580 

1898 44,773 

1899 61,468 

1900 .     .  95,673 

1901 120,645 

1902 165,105 

1903 189,008 

1904 172,856 

1905 239,091 

1906 269,823 

1907 343,402 


The  only  thing  I  desire  to  say  on  this  point  is,  that  nothing 
is  more  unfounded  than  the  statement  that  this  exclusion  is 
aimed  at  any  race  or  any  class.  It  is  aimed  at  no  one  but  the 
ignorant,  just  as  the  provision  in  regard  to  the  diseased  immi- 
grants is  aimed  only  at  the  diseased ;  but  it  is  unquestionably  re- 
strictive, and  it  therefore  meets  with  the  bitter  resistance  of 
the  steamship  companies,  from  whom,  directly  or  indirectly, 
come  nine  tenths  of  all  the  agitation  and  opposition  to  laws 
affecting  immigration. 

I  have  tried  in  all  I  have  said  to  lay  before  you  the  statistics, 
the  conditions,  the  facts,  and  the  past  results  involved  in  this 
great  question.  As  I  have  already  said  more  than  once,  I  shall 
make  no  argument  and  draw  no  conclusion.  I  leave  it  to  you  to 
make  your  own  inferences  and  reach  your  own  decisions.  I 
say  only  this,  —  that  to  every  workingman  and  to  every  citi- 
zen of  the  United  States,  whether  native  born  or  naturalized, 
to  whom  the  quality  of  our  citizenship  and  the  future  of  our 
country  are  dear,  there  is  no  question  before  the  American  people 
which  can  be  compared  with  this  in  importance ;  none  to  which 
they  should  give  such  attention  or  upon  which  they  should  seek 
to  express  themselves  and  to  guide  their  representatives  more 
explicitly  and  more  earnestly. 





IN  POPULAR  discussions  of  the  immigration  question  it  is 
often  said  that  all  who  have  come  to  this  continent  since  its 
discovery  should  be  considered  equally  as  immigrants,  and  that 
only  the  aboriginal  inhabitants  can  be  properly  called  natives. 
In  a  certain  sense  this  is  of  course  true,  but  in  another  it  is  entirely 
misleading;  for  one  cannot  speak  of  immigration  to  a  country 
until  that  country  has  entered  upon  a  career  of  national  existence. 
Accordingly  a  distinction  has  been  made,  and  with  reason,  be- 
tween those  who  took  part  in  building  the  political  framework 
of  the  thirteen  colonies  and  of  the  Federal  Union,  and  those 
who  have  arrived  to  find  the  United  States  Government  and 
its  social  and  political  institutions  in  working  operation.  The 
former  class  have  been  called  colonists,  the  latter  are  immi- 
grants proper.  In  discussing  the  immigration  question,  this 
distinction  is  important;  for  it  does  not  follow  that  because, 
as  against  the  native  Indians,  all  comers  might  be  considered 
as  intruders  and  equally  without  claim  of  right,  those  who  have 
built  up  a  complicated  framework  of  nationality  have  no  rights 
as  against  others  who  seek  to  enjoy  the  benefits  of  national  life 
without  having  contributed  to  its  creation. 

The  number  of  persons  in  the  country  at  the  date  of  the  Revolu- 
tionary War  is  not  accurately  known.  The  population  of  New 
England  was  produced  out  of  an  immigration  of  about  20,000 
persons  who  arrived  before  1640,  and  it  overflowed  into  the 
other  colonies  without  receiving  any  corresponding  additions 
from  them.  Franklin  stated  in  1751  that  the  population  then  in 
the  colonies,  amounting  to  about  one  million,  had  been  produced 

1  "Immigration  and  its  Effects  upon  the  United  States."  Chapter  I.  Henry 
Holt  and  Co.,  New  York,  1906. 



from  an  original  immigration  of  less  than  80,000.  The  first  census 
of  the  United  States,  in  1790,  gave  the  total  population  as  3,929,- 
214;  but,  as  has  been  pointed  out  by  Professor  F.  B.  Dexter, 
this  number  does  not  include  Vermont  or  the  territory  north- 
west of  the  Ohio  River,  which,  he  says,  would  make  the  total 
over  4,000,000.  The  first  records  of  immigration  begin  with 
the  year  1820,  and,  although  the  number  of  immigrants  who 
arrived  in  the  United  States  from  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary 
War  to  1820  is  not  certain,  it  is  estimated  by  good  authorities 
at  250,000. 

It  is  difficult  to  ascertain  the  number  of  immigrants  from  the 
various  countries  in  the  early  part  of  the  nineteenth  century. 
The  number  from  Great  Britain  increased  from  2081  in  1815, 
to  34,787  in  1819,  after  which  it  diminished  to  14,805  in  1824. 
In  the  year  1820,  out  of  a  total  immigration  of  8385,  the  United 
Kingdom  furnished  6024.  Germany  was  second,  with  968; 
France  third,  with  371 ;  and  Spain  fourth,  with  139.  The  total 
immigration  from  the  other  parts  of  North  and  South  America 
was  387. 

The  original  settlers  of  this  country  were,  in  the  main,  of 
Teutonic  and  Keltic  stock.  In  the  thirteen  original  States  the 
pioneers  were  practically  all  British,  Irish,  Dutch,  and  German, 
with  a  few  French,  Portuguese,  and  Swedes ;  and,  in  this  con- 
nection, it  should  be  remembered  that  a  large  proportion  of  the 
French  people  is  Teutonic  in  origin.  The  Germans  were  Protes- 
tants from  the  Palatinate,  and  were  pretty  generally  scattered, 
having  colonized  in  New  York,  Western  Pennsylvania,  Mary- 
land, and  Virginia.  The  Swedes  settled  upon  the  Delaware 
River.  The  French  were  Huguenots  driven  from  home  by  Louis 
XIV;  and,  though  not  numerous,  were  a  valuable  addition  to 
the  colonies.  The  Irish  were  descendants  of  Cromwell's  army, 
and  came  from  the  north  of  Ireland.  All  the  settlers  had  been 
subjects  of  nations  which  entertained  a  high  degree  of  civiliza- 
tion, and  were  at  that  time  the  colonizing  and  commercial  nations 
of  the  world.  At  a  later  period,  the  annexation  of  Florida  and 
Louisiana  brought  in  elements  of  Mediterranean  races,  so  called ; 
but,  owing  to  various  considerations  into  which  it  is  not  necessary 
to  enter  here,  the  civilization  and  customs  of  the  British  over- 
spread these  regions,  as  well  as  those  colonized  originally  by  the 


Dutch  and  French,  and  produced  a  substantial  uniformity  in 
institutions,  habits,  and  traditions  throughout  the  land. 

This  process  of  solidification  and  assimilation  of  the  different 
colonies  under  British  influence  reached  its  consummation  with 
the  establishing  of  the  Federal  Government.  After  the  birth 
of  the  United  States  as  a  separate  nation,  colonization  in  the 
earlier  sense  ceased  entirely.  European  nations  could  no  longer 
send  out  their  own  citizens  and  form  communities  directly  de- 
pendent upon  themselves  and  subject  to  their  own  jurisdiction. 
The  immigration  of  the  nineteenth  and  twentieth  centuries, 
therefore,  differs  widely  in  character  from  the  colonization  of 
the  seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries. 

B.    IMMIGRATION  FROM   1820  TO   1869 

With  the  year  1820  the  official  history  of  immigration  to  the 
United  States  begins ;  for  it  was  then  that  collectors  of  customs 
at  our  ports  were  first  obliged  to  record  the  arrival  of  passengers 
by  sea  from  foreign  countries.  The  record  included  numbers, 
ages,  sexes,  and  occupations.  Before  1856  no  distinction  at  all 
was  made  between  travelers  intending  to  return  and  immigrants 
intending  to  remain. 

Although  still  comparatively  small,  immigration  increased 
from  8385  in  1820  to  22,633  m  I^3I-  The  first  marked  rise  took 
place  in  1827  and  1828,  following  the  commercial  depression  in 
England  in  those  and  in  the  previous  year.  From  1831,  with 
the  exception  of  the  period  1843-1844,  numbers  continued  stead- 
ily to  advance  until  they  reached  totals  of  104,565  in  1842, 
and  310,004  in  1850.  The  most  striking  annual  increases  were 
from  114,371  in  1845  to  154,416  in  1846,  and  234,968  in  1847. 
These  sudden  movements  of  population  were  chiefly  due  to  hard 
times  in  Europe,  and  especially  in  Ireland,  a  cause  which,  with 
the  Revolution  of  1848,  in  Germany,  continued  to  operate  until 
1854,  when  a  total  of  427,853  was  reached  —  a  figure  not  again 
attained  until  nearly  twenty  years  later.  With  the  year  1854 
the  tide  began  to  beat  less  fiercely;  immigration  decreased 
steadily  until,  during  the  first  two  years  of  the  Civil  War,  it  was 
below  100,000.  But  in  1863,  a  gradual  increase  once  more  set 
in,  and  in  1869  352,768  persons  landed.  During  the  whole  of 


this  period  the  only  immigration  of  importance  came  from  Europe 
and  from  other  parts  of  America.  Immigration  from  Asia, 
which  began  in  1853,  consisted  in  the  largest  year,  1854,  of 
13,100  persons. 

In  1869  the  ethnic  composition  of  immigration  commenced 
in  a  marked  way  to  change,  and  considerations  which  apply  to 
the  earlier  years  do  not  necessarily  hold  for  those  from  1870  to 
the  present  time.  For  this  reason  the  period  is  made  to  end  with 

C.    IMMIGRATION  FROM   1870  TO  1905 

In  this  period  from  1870  to  1905,  immigration  increased  more 
than  twofold.  In  1870  the  total  immigration  was  387,203 ; 
in  1903  it  had  reached  the  enormous  number  of  857,046,  and, 
in  1905,  the  still  more  significant  figure  of  1,026,499.  Directly 
after  1870  a  time  of  industrial  and  commercial  depression  began, 
culminating  in  the  panic  of  1873.  The  barometer  of  immigra- 
tion, always  sensitive  to  such  changes  in  the  industrial  atmos- 
phere, began  to  fall,  though  there  was  no  rapid  movement 
until  the  panic  was  well  under  way.  In  fact,  immigration  in- 
creased to  459,803  in  1873 ;  but  it  fell  in  the  following  year  to 
313,339  and  then  steadily  diminished  to  138,469  in  1878.  After 
this  it  very  suddenly  increased  again,  and  in  1882  it  reached 
788,992  —  the  largest  immigration  of  any  year  except  1903, 
1904,  and  1905. 

A  part  of  this  sudden  increase  in  1882  and  the  two  subsequent 
years  must  be  ascribed  to  the  promulgation  of  the  "May  Laws" 
by  Russia,  which  caused  large  numbers  of  Hebrews  to  emigrate. 
Thus,  immigration  from  Russia,  exclusive  of  Poland  and  Finland, 
was  nearly  four  times  as  great  in  1882  as  in  1881,  and  by  1890 
was  more  than  seven  times  as  great.  But,  in  addition  to  these 
special  causes,  there  seems  to  have  been  a  general  advance  all 
along  the  line  of  nations.  One  reason  for  this  may  have  been  the 
enactment  by  Congress  of  the  first  general  immigration  act  of 
August  3,  1882,  and  the  fear  that  this  might  be  the  forerunner  of 
further  restrictive  legislation,  a  fear  which  has  undoubtedly 
operated  during  the  last  two  or  three  years. 

After  1882  numbers  again  diminished,  making  another  low 
point  of  334,203  in  1886.  Then  an  increase  took  place  until  the 


total  reached  579,663  in  1892.  In  1893  came  the  epidemic  of 
cholera  in  the  East  and  quarantine  regulations  at  various  ports, 
followed  by  a  period  of  commercial  depression  lasting  from  1894 
to  1898.  As  a  result  of  these  causes,  immigration  fell  off  largely, 
touching  a  minimum  of  229,299^1 1898.  From  that  yearitroseby 
rapid  strides  to  648,743  in  1902  ;  to  857,046  in  1903  ;  to  812,870 
in  1904;  and  to  1,026,499  in  1905. 

The  total  for  1905  was  an  increase  of  26  per  cent  over  that  of 
1904;  58  per  cent  over  that  of  1902;  and  349  per  cent  over 
that  of  1898.  The  record  for  a  single  day  seems  to  have  been 
reached  on  May  7,  1905,  when  12,000  immigrants  entered  New 
York  inside  of  twelve  hours. 


It  appears  that  the  total  immigration  to  the  United  States 
from  the  close  of  the  Revolutionary  War  to  1905  was  not  far 
from  twenty-three  millions,  a  movement  of  population  unprece- 
dented in  history.  This  was  divided  by  decades  as  follows : 

1821  to  1830 143,439 

1831  to  1840 599,125 

1841  to  1850 : 1,713,251 

1851  to  1860 „     .     .     .     .  2,598,214 

1861  to  1870 2,314,824 

1871  to  1880 2,812,101 

1881  to  1890 5,246,613 

1891  to  1900 3,687,564 

1901  to  1905  (five  years) 3,833,076 

Total,  1821-1905 22,948,297 

If  the  average  holds  to  the  end  of  the  present  decade,  the 
number  for  1901-1910  will  be  nearly  eight  millions  of  souls,  much 
the  largest  contribution  on  record  for  the  same  period.  It  need 
surprise  no  one,  however,  if  the  total  for  the  decade  should  be 
twice  as  large  as  this,  for  the  increase  in  the  last  few  years  is 
enormous,  and  the  general  tendency  during  the  past  century 
has  been  toward  a  steady  and  rapid  growth  of  the  immigration 

Another  way  of  viewing  the  annual  immigration  is  with  refer- 
ence to  the  volume  of  population  into  which  it  flows.  This  has 



the  advantage  of  showing  how  relatively  small  the  annual  addi- 
tions are,  though  they  are  enormous  compared  with  the  additions 
to  the  population  of  other  countries.  But  it  has  also  a  disad- 
vantage in  that  it  takes  account  merely  of  numbers,  and  does 
not  reckon  with  the  character  of  racial  composition  either  of  the 
annual  additions  or  the  people  with  whom  they  are  to  be  mixed. 
The  following  table  shows  the  number  of  immigrants  arriving 
in  each  year,  from  1839  to  1901,  and  the  number  of  immigrants 
to  10,000  population : 












1839   •  - 



June  30 

1840   .  . 



1871  .  . 



1841   .  . 



1872  .  . 






1873  •  • 



Sept.  30 


1874  •  • 



1844  •  • 



1875  •  • 



1845  •  • 



1876  .  . 



1846  .  . 



1877  .  . 



1847  •  • 



1878  .  . 



1848  .  . 



1879  •  • 



1849  •  • 



1880  .  . 



1850  .  . 



1881  .  . 



1851  .  . 



1882  .  . 



1852  .  . 



1883  .  . 



i8S3  •  • 



1884  .  . 



1854  •  . 



1885  •  • 



i855  •  • 



1886  .  . 



1856  .  . 



1887  .  . 



1857  .  . 



1888  .  . 



1858  .  . 



1889  .  . 



1859  .  . 



1890  .  . 



1860  .  . 



1891  .  . 



1861  .  . 



1892  .  . 



1862  .  . 



1893  •  • 



1863  .  . 



1894  .  . 



1864  .  . 



1895  •  • 



1865  .  . 



1896  .  . 



1866  .  . 



1897  .  . 



1867  .  . 



1898  .  . 



June  30 

1899  .  . 



1869  .  . 



1900  .  . 



1870  .  . 



1901  .  . 




It  will  be  noticed  that  while  in  such  a  table  it  would  be  natural 
for  the  index  numbers  to  grow  smaller  as  the  population  grew 
larger,  in  general  they  are  as  high  during  the  past  twenty  years 
as  during  the  periods  from  1839  to  1846,  from  1855  to  1865, 
and  from  1875  to  1880. 

The  only  times  when  immigration  exceeded  one  per  cent  of 
the  receiving  population  were  the  period  1847-1854,  the  years 
1870,  1873,  the  period  1881-1883,  and  the  years  1903-1905. 


It  is  unfortunate  that  no  accurate  records  are  available  of 
emigration  from  this  country.  The  Immigration  Bureau  has 
repeatedly  made  recommendations  for  supplying  this  defect, 
but  Congress  has  not  seen  fit  to  act,  and  consequently  the  only 
figures  available  are  those  of  the  transportation  companies, 
supplemented  by  such  guesswork  conclusions  as  can  be  drawn 
from  the  census.  The  census  obviously  cannot  furnish  very  accu- 
rate data  for  estimating  emigration,  because  persons  who  have 
been  in  the  country  more  than  once  may  figure  at  a  certain  date  in 
the  census  and  a  year  or  two  later  in  the  immigrant  arrivals. 

The  same  facilities  for  cheap  and  rapid  transit  which  operate 
so  powerfully  to  encourage  immigration  are  available  also  for 
passage  in  the  other  direction.  Passage  from  New  York  to 
European  ports  is  from  two  to  ten  dollars  less  than  the  rate  to 
this  country ;  and  the  number  of  domestic  servants,  for  example, 
taking  advantage  of  these  rates  to  pass  a  summer  or  winter 
abroad  has  become  so  large  as  to  cause  comment.  In  1903, 
eastbound  steerage  passengers,  according  to  figures  obtained 
by  the  Department  of  Commerce  and  Labor,  numbered  251,500 ; 
and  for  the  decade  1891  to  1900,  excepting  the  years  1896  and 
1897,  for  which  no  figures  are  available,  the  number  was  1,229,- 
909;  or  a  probable  total  for  the  decade  of  1,529,909.  At  cer- 
tain times  the  exodus  is  larger  than  the  influx.  *Thus,  during 
the  period  from  November  i  to  December  8,  1894,  the  number 
of  emigrants  was  25,544,  while  immigrant  arrivals  for  the  month 
of  November  numbered  12,886. 

The  hard  times  of  1893  caused  large  numbers  of  Italians  to 
return  home.  The  total  of  steerage  passengers  sailing  from  New 


York,  Boston,  Philadelphia,  Baltimore,  New  Orleans,  and  Mon- 
treal in  that  year  was  268,037;  in  1894,  it  was  311,760.  The 
Italian  Commissioner- General  of  Emigration  states  that,  in 
1903,  214,157  Italians  went  to  the  United  States  and  78,233 

Naturally,  many  of  those  who  return  home  come  again  to  the 
United  States  when  conditions  here  are  more  favorable,  or  they 
have  spent  the  money  accumulated  while  in  this  country.  In 
1898,  1 8  per  cent  of  immigrants  had  been  in  this  country  before ; 
in  1901,  12  per  cent;  in  1903,  9  per  cent;  in  1905,  17.1  per  cent. 
These  figures  do  not,  of  course,  show  how  often  the  immigrants 
represented  have  been  in  the  United  States ;  for  although  this 
information  appears  to  some  extent  upon  the  manifests,  it  is 
not  tabulated  in  the  official  reports.  From  a  personal  examina- 
tion of  the  manifests  of  several  thousand  Italians  at  Ellis  Island, 
New  York,  the  writer  can  state  that  large  numbers  have  been 
here  two,  three,  four,  and  in  some  cases  six  or  more  times.  In 
view  of  this  the  inaccuracy  of  estimates  based  on  the  census 
becomes  even  more  apparent.  Poles,  Slovaks,  and  other  mining 
laborers  are  frequent  birds  of  passage ;  and  in  the  case  of  Cana- 
dians working  in  the  United  States,  there  is  a  large  exodus  of 
persons  returning  home,  some  in  the  winter  and  some  in  the  sum- 
mer, according  to  the  nature  of  their  occupation. 




THE  present  movement  of  population  from  Europe  to  the 
United  States  is,  with  few  exceptions,  almost  entirely  attrib- 
utable to  economic  causes.  Emigration  due  to  political  reasons 
and,  to  a  less  extent,  religious  oppression,  undoubtedly  exists, 
but  even  in  countries  where  these  incentives  prevail  the  more 
important  cause  is  very  largely  an  economic  one.  This  does 
not  mean,  however,  that  emigration  from  Europe  is  now  an 
economic  necessity.  At  times  in  the  past,  notably  during  the 
famine  years  in  Ireland,  actual  want  forced  a  choice  between 
emigration  and  literal  starvation,  but  the  present  movement 
results  in  the  main  from  a  widespread  desire  for  better  economic 
conditions  rather  than  from  the  necessity  of  escaping  intolerable 
ones.  In  other  words,  the  emigrant  of  to-day  comes  to  the 
United  States  not  merely  to  make  a  living,  but  to  make  a  better 
living  than  is  possible  at  home. 

With  comparatively  few  exceptions,  the  emigrant  of  to-day  is 
essentially  a  seller  of  labor  seeking  a  more  favorable  market. 
To  a  considerable  extent  this  incentive  is  accompanied  by  a 
certain  spirit  of  unrest  and  adventure  and  a  more  or  less  definite 
ambition  for  general  social  betterment,  but  primarily  the  move- 
ment is  accounted  for  by  the  fact  that  the  reward  of  labor  is  much 
greater  in  the  United  States  than  in  Europe. 

The  desire  to  escape  military  service  is  also  a  primary  cause 
of  emigration  from  some  countries,  but  on  the  whole  it  is  rela- 
tively unimportant.  It  is  true,  moreover,  that  some  emigrate 
to  escape  punishment  for  crime,  or  the  stigma  which  follows 
such  punishment,  while  others  of  the  criminal  class  deliberately 
seek  supposedly  more  advantageous  fields  for  criminal  activity. 



The  emigration  of  criminals  of  this  class  is  a  natural  movement 
not  altogether  peculiar  to  European  countries,  and,  although 
vastly  important  because  dangerous,  numerically  it  affects 
but  little  the  tide  of  European  emigration  to  the  United  States. 

In  order  that  the  chief  cause  of  emigration  from  Europe  may 
be  better  understood,  the  commission  has  given  considerable 
attention  to  economic  conditions  in  the  countries  visited,  with 
particular  reference  to  the  status  of  emigrating  classes  in  this 
regard.  It  was  impossible  for  the  commissioners  personally 
to  make  more  than  a  general  survey  of  this  subject,  but  because 
an  understanding  of  the  economic  situation  in  the  chief  immi- 
grant-furnishing countries  is  essential  to  an  intelligent  discus- 
sion of  the  immigration  question,  the  results  of  the  commission's 
investigation  have  been  supplemented  by  official  data  or  well- 
authenticated  material  from  other  sources. 

The  purely  economic  condition  of  the  wageworker  is  generally 
very  much  lower  in  Europe  than  in  the  United  States.  This  is 
especially  true  of  the  unskilled  laborer  class  from  which  so  great 
a  proportion  of  the  emigration  to  the  United  States  is  drawn. 
Skilled  labor  also  is  poorly  paid  when  compared  with  returns 
for  like  service  in  the  United  States,  but  the  opportunity  for 
continual  employment  in  this  field  is  usually  good  and  the  wages 
sufficiently  high  to  lessen  the  incentive  to  emigration.  A  large 
proportion  of  the  emigration  from  southern  and  eastern  Europe 
may  be  traced  directly  to  the  inability  of  the  peasantry  to  gain 
an  adequate  livelihood  in  agricultural  pursuits  either  as  laborers 
or  proprietors.  Agricultural  labor  is  paid  extremely  low  wages, 
and  employment  is  quite  likely  to  be  seasonal  rather  than  con- 
tinuous. In  cases  where  peasant  proprietorship  is  possible,  the 
land  holdings  are  usually  so  small,  the  methods  of  cultivation 
so  primitive,  and  the  taxes  so  high,  that  even  in  productive  years 
the  struggle  for  existence  is  a  hard  one,  while  a  crop  failure 
means  practical  disaster  for  the  small  farmer  and  farm  laborer 
alike.  In  agrarian  Russia,  where  the  people  have  not  learned  to 
emigrate,  a  crop  failure  results  in  a  famine,  while  in  other  sec- 
tions of  southern  and  eastern  Europe  it  results  in  emigration, 
usually  to  the  United  States.  Periods  of  industrial  depression 
as  well  as  crop  failures  stimulate  emigration,  but  the  effect  of 
the  former  is  not  so  pronounced,  for  the  reason  that  disturbed 


financial  and  industrial  conditions  in  Europe  are  usually  coin- 
cidental with  like  conditions  in  the  United  States,  and  at  such 
times  the  emigration  movement  is  always  relatively  smaller. 

The  fragmentary  nature  of  available  data  relative  to  wages 
in  many  European  countries  makes  a  satisfactory  comparison 
with  wages  in  the  United  States  impossible.  It  is  well  known, 
however,  that  even  in  England,  Germany,  France,  and  other 
countries  of  western  Europe  wages  are  below  the  United  States 
standard,  while  in  southern  and  eastern  Europe  the  difference 
is  very  great.  The  commission  found  this  to  be  true  in  its  investi- 
gations in  parts  of  Italy,  Austria-Hungary,  Greece,  Turkey, 
Russia,  and  the  Balkan  States.  In  fact,  it  may  safely  be  stated 
that  in  these  countries  the  average  wage  of  men  engaged  in 
common  and  agricultural  labor  is  less  than  50  cents  per  day, 
while  in  some  sections  it  is  even  much  lower.  It  is  true  that 
in  some  countries  agricultural  laborers  receive  from  employers 
certain  concessions  in  the  way  of  fuel,  food,  etc.,  but  in  cases 
of  this  nature  which  came  to  the  attention  of  the  commission 
the  value  of  the  concessions  was  insufficient  to  materially  affect 
the  low  wage  scale. 

It  is  a  common  but  erroneous  belief  that  peasants  and  artisans 
in  the  European  countries  from  which  the  new  immigrant  comes 
can  live  so  very  cheaply  that  the  low  wages  have  practically  as 
great  a  purchasing  power  as  the  higher  wages  in  the  United 
States.  The  low  cost  of  living  among  the  working  people,  espe- 
cially of  southern  and  eastern  Europe,  is  due  to  a  low  standard 
of  living  rather  than  to  the  cheapness  of  food  and  other  commod- 
ities. As  a  matter  of  fact,  meat  and  other  costly  articles  of  food, 
which  are  considered  as  almost  essential  to  the  everyday  table 
of  the  American  workingman,  cannot  be  afforded  among  laborers 
in  like  occupations  in  southern  and  eastern  Europe.  The  same 
is  true  of  the  American  standard  of  housing,  clothing,  and  other 
things  which  enter  into  the  cost  of  living. 

Notwithstanding  the  bad  economic  conditions  surrounding 
the  classes  which  furnish  so  great  a  part  of  the  emigration  from 
southern  and  eastern  Europe,  the  commission  believes  that  a 
laudable  ambition  for  better  things  than  they  possess  rather 
than  a  need  for  actual  necessities  is  the  chief  motive  behind  the 
movement  to  the  United  States.  Knowledge  of  conditions  in 


America,  promulgated  through  letters  from  friends  or  by  emi- 
grants who  have  returned  for  a  visit  to  their  native  villages, 
creates  and  fosters  among  the  people  a  desire  for  improved 
conditions  which,  it  is  believed,  can  be  attained  only  through 

It  is  the  opinion  of  the  commission  that,  with  the  exception 
of  some  Russian  and  Roumanian  Hebrews,  relatively  few  Euro- 
peans emigrate  at  the  present  time  because  of  political  or  reli- 
gious conditions.  It  is  doubtless  true  that  political  discontent 
still  influences  the  emigration  movement  from  Ireland,  but  to 
a  less  degree  than  in  earlier  years.  The  survival  of  the  Polish 
national  spirit  undoubtedly  is  a  determining  factor  in  the  emi- 
gration from  Prussia,  Russia,  and  Austria  of  some  of  that  race, 
while  dissatisfaction  with  Russian  domination  is  to  a  degree 
responsible  for  Finnish  emigration.  In  all  probability  some 
part  of  the  emigration  from  Turkey  in  Europe  and  Turkey  in 
Asia,  as  well  as  from  the  Balkan  States,  is  also  attributable  to 
political  conditions  in  those  countries.  There  is,  of  course,  a 
small  movement  from  nearly  every  European  country  of  political 
idealists  who  prefer  a  democracy  to  a  monarchial  government, 
but  these,  and  in  fact  all,  with  the  exception  of  the  Hebrew  peo- 
ples referred  to,  whose  emigration  is  in  part  due  to  political  or 
religious  causes,  form  a  very  small  portion  of  the  present  Euro- 
pean emigration  to  the  United  States. 

Contributory  or  immediate  causes  of  emigration  were  given 
due  consideration  by  the  commission.  Chief  of  these  is  clearly 
the  advice  and  assistance  of  relatives  or  friends  who  have  pre- 
viously emigrated.  Through  the  medium  of  letters  from  those 
already  in  the  United  States  and  the  visits  of  former  emigrants, 
the  emigrating  classes  of  Europe  are  kept  constantly  if  not  always 
reliably  informed  as  to  labor  conditions  here,  and  these  agencies 
are  by  far  the  most  potent  promoters  of  the  present  movement 
of  population. 

The  commission  found  ample  evidence  of  this  fact  in  every 
country  of  southern  and  eastern  Europe.  Of  the  two  agencies 
mentioned,  however,  letters  are  by  far  the  more  important.  In 
fact,  it  is  entirely  safe  to  assert  that  letters  to  friends  at  home 
from  persons  who  have  emigrated  have  been  the  immediate 
cause  of  by  far  the  greater  part  of  the  remarkable  movement 


from  southern  and  eastern  Europe  to  the  United  States  during 
the  past  twenty-five  years.  There  is  hardly  a  village  or  com- 
munity in  southern  Italy  and  Sicily  that  has  not  contributed 
a  portion  of  its  population  to  swell  the  tide  of  emigration  to  the 
United  States,  and  the  same  is  true  of  large  areas  of  Austria, 
Hungary,  Greece,  Turkey,  and  the  Balkan  States.  There  is 
a  tendency  on  the  part  of  emigrants  from  these  countries  to  retain 
an  interest  in  the  homeland,  and  in  consequence  a  great  amount 
of  correspondence  passes  back  and  forth.  It  was  frequently 
stated  to  members  of  the  Commission  that  letters  from  persons 
who  have  emigrated  to  America  were  passed  from  hand  to  hand 
until  most  of  the  emigrants'  friends  and  neighbors  were  ac- 
quainted with  the  contents.  In  periods  of  industrial  activity, 
as  a  rule,  the  letters  so  circulated  contain  optimistic  references 
to  wages  and  opportunities  for  employment  in  the  United  States, 
and  when  comparison  in  this  regard  is  made  with  conditions  at 
home  it  is  inevitable  that  whole  communities  should  be  inoculated 
with  a  desire  to  emigrate.  The  reverse  is  true  during  seasons  of 
industrial  depression  in  the  United  States.  At  such  times  intend- 
ing emigrants  are  quickly  informed  by  their  friends  in  the  United 
States  relative  to  conditions  of  employment,  and  a  gre^at  falling 
off  in  the  tide  of  emigration  is  the  immediate  result. 

Emigrants  who  have  returned  for  a  visit  to  their  native  land 
are  also  great  promoters  of  emigration.  This  is  particularly 
true  of  southern  and  eastern  European  emigrants,  who  as  a  class 
make  more  or  less  frequent  visits  to  their  old  homes.  Among 
the  returning  emigrants  are  always  some  who  have  failed  to 
achieve  success  in  America,  and  some  who  through  changed 
conditions  of  life  and  employment  return  in  broken  health.  It 
is  but  natural  that  these  should  have  a  slightly  deterrent  effect 
on  emigration ;  but,  on  the  whole,  this  is  relatively  unimportant, 
for  the  returning  emigrant,  as  a  rule,  is  one  who  has  succeeded. 
In  times  of  industrial  inactivity  in  the  United  States  the  large 
number  of  emigrants  who  return  to  their  native  lands  of  course 
serve  as  a  temporary  check  to  emigration,  but  it  is  certain  that 
in  the  long  run  such  returning  emigrants  actually  promote  rather 
than  retard  the  movement  to  the  United  States. 

The  importance  of  the  advice  of  friends  as  an  immediate 
cause  of  emigration  from  Europe  is  also  indicated  by  the  fact 



that  nearly  all  European  immigrants  admitted  to  the  United 
States  are,  according  to  their  own  statements,  going  to  join 
relatives  or  friends.  The  United  States  immigration  law  provides 
that  information  upon  this  point  be  secured  relative  to  every 
alien  coming  to  the  United  States  by  water,  and  the  record 
shows  that  in  the  fiscal  years  1908  and  1909,  94.7  per  cent  of  all 
European  and  Syrian  immigr^its  admitted  were  destined  to 
relatives  or  friends.  It  is  worthy  of  note  that  the  percentage 
was  higher  in  the  new  immigration  than  in  the  old,  being  97 
per  cent  in  the  former  and  89.4  per  cent  in  the  latter. 

The  foregoing  not  only  indicates  a  very  general  relationship 
between  admitted  immigrants  and  those  who  follow,  but  it  sug- 
gests forcibly  that  emigration  from  Europe  proceeds  according 
to  "well-defined  individual  plans  rather  than  in  a  haphazard  way. 

Actual  contracts  involving  promises  of  employment  between 
employers  in  the  United  States  and  laborers  in  Europe  are  not 
responsible  for  any  very  considerable  part  of  the  present  emi- 
gration movement.  It  will  be  understood,  however,  that  this 
statement  refers  only  to  cases  where  actual  bona  fide  contracts 
between  employers  and  laborers  exist  rather  than  to  so-called  con- 
tract labor  cases  as  defined  in  the  sweeping  terms  of  the  United 
States  immigration  law,  which  classifies  as  such  all  persons 

.  .  .  who  have  been  induced  or  solicited  to  migrate  to  this  country  by 
offers  or  promises  of  employment  or  in  consequence  of  agreements, 
oral,  written,  or  printed,  express  or  implied,  to  perform  labor  in  this 
country  of  any  kind,  skilled  or  unskilled. 

Under  a  strict  interpretation  of  the  law  above  quoted,  it  would 
seem  that  in  order  to  escape  being  classified  as  contract  laborers 
immigrants  coming  to  the  United  States  must  be  entirely  with- 
out assurance  that  employment  will  be  available  here.  Indeed, 
it  is  certain  that  European  immigrants,  and  particularly  those 
from  southern  and  eastern  Europe,  are,  under  a  literal  construc- 
tion of  the  law,  for  the  most  part  contract  laborers,  for  it  is 
unlikely  that  many  emigrants  embark  for  the  United  States 
without  a  pretty  definite  knowledge  of  where  they  will  go  and 
what  they  will  do  if  admitted. 

It  should  not  be  understood,  however,  that  the  commission 
believes  that  contract  labor  in  its  more  serious  form  does  not 


exist.  Undoubtedly  many  immigrants  come  to  the  United 
States  from  southern  and  eastern  Europe  as  the  result  of  definite 
if  not  open  agreements  with  employers  of  labor  here,  but,  as 
previously  stated,  actual  and  direct  contract  labor  agreements 
cannot  be  considered  as  the  direct  or  immediate  cause  of  any 
considerable  proportion  of  the  European  emigration  movement 
to  the  United  States.  As  before  stated  emigrants  as  a  rule  are 
practically  assured  that  employment  awaits  them  in  America 
before  they  leave  their  homes  for  ports  of  embarkation,  and 
doubtless  in  a  majority  of  cases  they  know  just  where  and  what 
the  employment  will  be.  This  is  another  result  of  letters  from 
former  emigrants  in  the  United  States.  In  fact  it  may  be  said 
that  immigrants,  or  at  least  newly  arrived  immigrants,  are 
substantially  the  agencies  which  keep  the  American  labor  market 
supplied  with  unskilled  laborers  from  Europe.  Some  of  them 
operate  consciously  and  on  a  large  scale,  but  as  a  rule  each  immi- 
grant simply  informs  his  nearest  friends  that  employment  can 
be  had  and  advises  them  to  come.  It  is  these  personal  appeals 
which,  more  than  all  other  agencies,  promote  and  regulate  the 
tide  of  European  emigration  to  America. 

Moreover,  the  immigrant  in  the  United  States  in  a  large 
measure  assists,  as  well  as  advises,  his  friends  in  the  Old  World 
to  emigrate.   It  is  difficult,  and  in  many  cases  impossible,  for 
the  southern  and  eastern  European  to  save  a  sufficient  amount 
of  money  to  purchase  a  steerage  ticket  to  the  United  States. 
No  matter  how  strong  the  desire  to  emigrate  may  be,  its  ac- 
complishment on  the  part  of  the  ordinary  laborer,  dependent 
upon   his   own   resources,   can   be  realized   only  after   a   long 
struggle.     To  immigrants  in  the  United  States,  however,  the 
price  of  steerage  transportation  to  or  from  Europe  is  relatively       / 
a  small  matter,  and  by  giving  or  advancing  the  necessary  money      / 
they  make  possible  the  emigration  of  many.    It  is  impossible      / 
to  estimate  with  any  degree  of  accuracy  what  proportion  of  the     / 
large  amount  of  money  annually  sent  abroad  by  immigrants    / 
is   sent   for   the   purpose   of   assisting   relatives   or   friends   to; 
emigrate,  but  it  is  certain   that  the  aggregate  is  large.   The/ 
immediate  families  of  immigrants  are  the  largest  beneficiaries  m 
this  regard,  but  the  assistance  referred  to  is  extended  to  manf 


Next  to  the  advice  and  assistance  of  friends  and  relatives 
who  have  already  emigrated,  the  propaganda  conducted  by 
steamship  ticket  agents  is  undoubtedly  the  most  important  imme- 
diate cause  of  emigration  from  Europe  to  the  United  States. 
This  propaganda  flourishes  in  every  emigrant-furnishing  country 
of  Europe,  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  the  promotion  of  emi- 
gration is  forbidden  by  the  laws  of  many  such  countries  as  well 
as  by  the  United  States  immigration  law. 

It  is,  of  course,  difficult  if  not  impossible  to  secure  a  really 
effective  enforcement  of  this  provision  of  the  United  States  law, 
but  undoubtedly  it  does  supplement  the  emigration  laws  of 
various  European  countries  in  compelling  steamship  ticket 
agents  to  solicit  emigration  in  a  secret  manner  rather  than  openly. 
It  does  not  appear  that  steamship  companies  as  a  rule  openly 
or  directly  violate  the  United  States  law,  but  through  local 
agents  and  subagents  of  such  companies  it  is  violated  persistently 
and  continuously.  Selling  steerage  tickets  to  America  is  the 
sxDle  or  chief  occupation  of  large  numbers  of  persons  in  southern 
and  eastern  Europe,  and  from  the  observations  of  the  commis- 
sion it  is  clear  that  these  local  agents  as  a  rule  solicit  business 
by  every  possible  means  and  consequently  encourage  emigration. 

No  data  are  available  to  show  even  approximately  the  total 
number  of  such  agents  and  subagents  engaged  in  the  steerage 
ticket  business.  One  authority  stated  to  the  commission  that 
two  of  the  leading  steamship  lines  had  five  or  six  thousand  ticket 
agents  in  Galicia  alone,  and  that  there  was  "a  great  hunt  for 
emigrants"  there.  The  total  number  of  such  agents  is  undoubt- 
edly very  large,  for  the  steerage  business  is  vastly  important  to 
all  the  lines  operating  passenger  ships,  and  all  compete  for  a  share 
of  it.  The  great  majority  of  emigrants  from  southern  and  eastern 
European  countries  sail  under  foreign  flags,  Italian  emigrants, 
a  large  proportion  of  whom  sail  under  the  flag  of  Italy,  being 
the  only  conspicuous  exception.  Many  Greek,  Russian,  and 
Austrian  emigrants  sail  on  ships  of  those  nations,  but  the  bulk 
of  the  emigrant  business  originating  in  eastern  and  southern 
European  countries,  excepting  Italy,  is  handled  by  the  British, 
IGerman,  Dutch,  French,  and  Belgian  lines.  There  is  at  present 
Vn  agreement  among  the  larger  steamship  companies  which  in 
I  measure  regulates  the  distribution  of  this  traffic  and  prevents 


unrestricted  competition  between  the  lines,  but  this  does  not 
affect  the  vigorous  and  widespread  hunt  for  steerage  passengers 
which  is  carried  on  throughout  the  chief  emigrant-furnishing 

The  commission's  inquiry  and  information  from  other  sources 
indicate  that  the  attempted  promotion  of  emigration  by  steam- 
ship ticket  agents  is  carried  on  to  a  greater  extent  in  Austria, 
Hungary,  Greece,  and  Russia  than  in  other  countries.  The 
Russian  law,  as  elsewhere  stated,  does  not  recognize  the  right 
of  the  people  to  emigrate  permanently,  and  while  the  large  and 
continued  movement  of  population  from  the  Empire  to  over-seas 
countries  is  proof  that  the  law  is  to  a  large  degree  inoperative, 
it  nevertheless  seems  to  restrict  somewhat  the  activities  of 
steamship  agents.  Moreover,  there  were  at  the  time  of  the 
commission's  visit  two  Russian  steamship  lines  carrying  emi- 
grants directly  from  Libau  to  the  United  States,  and  the  Govern- 
ment's interest  in  the  success  of  these  lines  resulted  in  a  rather 
strict  surveillance  of  the  agents  of  foreign  companies  doing 
business  in  the  Empire.  Because  of  this,  much  of  the  work  of 
agents  of  foreign  lines  was  carried  on  surreptitiously;  in  fact, 
they  were  commonly  described  to  the  commission  as  "secret 
agents."  Emigration  from  Russia  is,  or  at  least  is  made  to  appear 
to  be,  a  difficult  matter,  and  the  work  of  the  secret  agents  con- 
sists not  only  of  selling  steamship  transportation,  but  also  in 
procuring  passports,  and  in  smuggling  across  the  frontier  emi- 
grants who  for  military  or  other  reasons  cannot  procure  pass- 
ports, or  who  because  of  their  excessive  cost  elect  to  leave  Russia 
without  them.  This  was  frequently  stated  to  the  commission. 
A  Russian  official  at  St.  Petersburg  complained  to  the  com- 
mission that  Jewish  secret  agents  of  British  lines  had  been  em- 
ployed in  Russia  to  induce  Christians,  instead  of  Jews,  to  emi- 
grate. It  was  learned  that  some  letters  had  been  received  by 
prospective  emigrants  containing  more  information  than  the 
dates  of  sailing,  terms,  etc.  (as  allowed  by  section  7  of  the  United 
States  Immigration  Act),  and  also  that  on  market  days  in  some 
places  steamship  agents  would  mingle  with  the  people  and  en- 
deavor to  incite  them  to  emigrate. 

The  Hungarian  law  strictly  forbids  the  promotion  of  emigra- 
tion and  the  Government  has  prosecuted  violations  so  vigorously 


that  at  the  time  of  the  commission's  visit  the  emigration  authori- 
ties expressed  the  belief  that  the  practice  had  been  checked.  It 
was  stated  to  the  commission  that  foreign  steamship  lines  had 
constantly  acted  in  contravention  of  the  Hungarian  regulations 
by  employing  secret  agents  to  solicit  business,  or  through  agents 
writing  personal  letters  to  prospective  emigrants,  advising  them 
how  to  leave  Hungary  without  the  consent  of  the  government. 
Letters  of  this  nature  were  presented  to  the  commission.  Some 
of  them  are  accompanied  by  crudely  drawn  maps  indicating  the 
location  of  all  the  Hungarian  control  stations  on  the  Austrian 
border,  and  the  routes  of  travel  by  which  such  stations  can  be 
avoided.  The  commission  was  shown  the  records  in  hundreds 
of  cases  where  the  secret  agents  of  foreign  steamship  companies 
had  been  convicted  and  fined  or  imprisoned  for  violating  the 
Hungarian  law  by  soliciting  emigration.  It  was  reported  to 
the  commission  that  in  one  year  at  Kassa,  a  Hungarian  city 
on  the  Austrian  border,  eight  secret  agents  of  the  German  lines 
were  punished  for  violations  of  the  emigration  law. 

In  Austria,  at  the  time  of  the  commission's  visit,  there  was 
comparatively  little  agitation  relative  to  emigration.  Attempts 
had  been  made  to  enact  an  emigration  law  similar  to  that  of 
Hungary,  but  these  were  not  successful.  The  solicitation  of 
emigration  is  forbidden  by  law,  but  it  appeared  that  steamship 
ticket  agents  were  not  subjected  to  strict  regulation,  as  they  are 
in  Hungary.  Government  officials  and  others  interested  in  the 
emigration  situation  expressed  the  belief  that  the  solicitations 
of  agents  had  little  effect  on  the  emigration  movement,  which 
was  influenced  almost  entirely  by  economic  conditions.  It  was 
not  denied,  however,  that  steamship  agents  do  solicit  emigration. 

The  Italian  law  strictly  forbids  the  solicitation  of  emigration 
by  steamship  agents,  and  complaints  relative  to  violation  of 
the  law  were  not  nearly  so  numerous  as  in  some  countries  visited. 
Nevertheless  there  are  many  persons  engaged  in  the  business  of 
selling  steerage  tickets  in  that  country,  and  the  commission  was 
informed  that  considerable  soliciting  is  done. 

The  commission  found  that  steamship  agents  were  very  active 
in  Greece  and  that  the  highly  colored  posters  and  other  advertis- 
ing matter  of  the  steamship  companies  were  to  be  found  every- 
where. According  to  its  population  Greece  furnishes  more 


emigrants  to  the  United  States  than  any  other  country,  and  the 
spirit  of  emigration  is  so  intense  among  the  people  that  solicita- 
tion by  steamship  companies  probably  plays  relatively  a  small 
part  even  as  a  contributory  cause  of  the  movement. 


Emigration  from  Europe  to  the  United  States  through  public 
assistance  is  so  small  as  to  be  of  little  or  no  importance.  It  is 
probable  and  easily  conceivable  that  local  authorities  sometimes 
assist  in  the  emigration  of  public  charges  and  criminals,  but  such 
instances  are  believed  to  be  rare.  As  a  matter  of  fact,  European 
nations  look  with  regret  on  the  emigration  of  their  young  and 
able-bodied  men  and  women,  and  the  comity  of  nations  would 
prevent  the  deportation  of  criminals  and  paupers  to  a  country 
whose  laws  denied  admission  to  such  classes,  however  desirable 
their  emigration  might  be.  Besides,  the  assisted  emigration  to 
the  United  States  of  the  aged  or  physically  or  mentally  defective 
would  be  sure  to  result  in  failure  because  of  the  stringent  provi- 
sions of  the  United  States  immigration  law.  It  is  well  known 
that  in  the  earlier  days  of  unrestricted  immigration  large  num- 
bers of  paupers  and  other  undesirables  were  assisted  to  emigrate, 
or  were  practically  deported,  from  the  British  Isles  and  other 
countries  to  the  United  States.  Even  at  the  present  time,  as 
shown  in  the  commission's  report  on  the  immigration  situation 
in  Canada,  there  is  a  large  assisted  emigration  from  England 
to  Canada  and  other  British  colonies,  but  it  does  not  appear 
that  there  is  any  movement  of  this  nature  to  the  United  States. 

On  the  other  hand  various  nations  of  the  Western  Hemisphere 
make  systematic  efforts  in  Europe  to  induce  immigration.  The 
Canadian  government  maintains  agencies  in  all  the  countries 
of  northern  and  western  Europe  where  the  solicitation  of  emigra- 
tion is  permitted,  and  pays  a  bonus  to  thousands  of  booking 
agents  for  directing  emigrants  to  the  dominion.  Canada,  how- 
ever, expends  no  money  in  the  transportation  of  emigrants. 
Several  South  American  countries,  including  Brazil  and  Argen- 
tine Republic,  also  systematically  solicit  immigration  in  Europe. 

Several  American  states  have  attempted  to  attract  immigrants 
by  the  distribution  in  Europe  of  literature  advertising  the 


attractions  of  such  states.  A  few  States  have  sent  commis- 
sioners to  various  countries  for  the  purpose  of  inducing  immi- 
gration, but  although  some  measure  of  success  has  attended 
such  efforts  the  propaganda  has  had  little  effect  on  the  immi- 
gration movement  as  a  whole. 


That  former  convicts  and  professional  criminals  from  all 
countries  come  to  the  United  States  practically  at  will  cannot 
and  need  not  be  denied,  although  it  seems  probable  that  in  the 
popular  belief  the  number  is  greatly  exaggerated.  This  class 
emigrates  and  is  admitted  to  this  country,  and,  in  the  opinion 
of  the  commission,  the  blame  cannot  equitably  be  placed  else- 
where than  on  the  United  States.  The  commission  is  convinced 
that  no  European  government  encourages  the  emigration  of 
its  criminals  to  this  country.  Some,  it  is  true,  take  no  measures 
to  prevent  such  emigration,  especially  after  criminals  have  paid 
the  legal  penalties  demanded,  but  others,  and  particularly  Italy, 
seek  to  restrain  the  departure  of  former  convicts  in  common 
with  other  classes  debarred  by  the  United  States  immigration 
law.  The  accomplishment  of  this  purpose  on  the  part  of  Italy 
is  attempted  by  specific  regulations  forbidding  the  issuance  of 
passports  to  intended  emigrants  who  have  been  convicted  of 
a  felony  or  other  crime  or  misdemeanor  involving  moral  turpitude 
within  the  meaning  of  the  United  States  law.  Under  the  Italian 
system  local  officials  furnish  the  record  upon  which  is  determined 
the  intending  emigrant's  right  to  receive  a  passport,  and  it  is 
not  denied  that  some  officials  at  times  violate  the  injunctions 
of  the  Government  in  this  regard,  but  as  a  whole  the  commission 
believes  the  effort  is  honestly  made  and  in  the  main  successfully 
accomplished.  The  weakness  and  inefficiency  of  the  system, 
however,  lie  in  the  fact  that  passports  are  not  demanded  by  the 
United  States  as  a  requisite  of  admission,  and  although  subjects 
of  Italy  may  not  leave  Italian  ports  without  them,  there  is 
little  or  nothing  to  prevent  those  unprovided  from  leaving  the 
country  overland  without  passports  or  with  passports  to  other 
countries  and  then  embarking  for  the  United  States  from  foreign 
ports.  Thus  it  is  readily  seen  that  the  precaution  of  Italy, 


however  effective,  is  practically  worthless  without  cooperation 
on  the* part  of  the  United  States. 


The  practice  of  examining  into  the  physical  condition  of 
emigrants  at  the  time  of  embarkation  is  one  of  long  standing 
at  some  European  ports.  In  the  earlier  days,  and  in  fact  until 
quite  recently,  the  purpose  of  the  inspection  was  merely  to  pro- 
tect the  health  of  steerage  passengers  during  the  ocean  voyage. 
The  Belgian  law  of  1843  provided  that  in  case  the  presence 
of  infectious  disease  among  passengers  was  suspected  there  should 
be  an  examination  by  a  naval  surgeon  in  order  to  prevent  the 
embarkation  of  afflicted  persons.  The  British  steerage  law  of 
1848,  the  enactment  of  which  followed  the  experiences  of  1847 
when  thousands  of  emigrants  driven  from  Ireland  by  the  famine 
died  of  ship  fever,  provided  that  passengers  should  be  examined 
by  a  physician  and  those  whose  condition  was  likely  to  endanger 
the  health  of  other  passengers  should  not  be  permitted  to  pro- 
ceed. Similar  laws  or  regulations  became  general  among  the 
maritime  nations  and  are  still  in  effect. 

The  situation  is  also  affected  somewhat  by  provisions  of  the 
United  States  quarantine  law,  which  requires  American  con- 
sular officers  to  satisfy  themselves  of  the  sanitary  condition  of 
ships  and  passengers  sailing  for  United  States  ports.  The  laws 
above  referred  to  are  intended  to  prevent  the  embarkation  of 
persons  afflicted  with  diseases  of  a  quarantinable  nature,  and 
the  only  real  and  effective  protection  this  country  has  against 
the  coming  of  the  otherwise  physically  or  mentally  defective 
is  the  United  States  immigration  law  which,  through  rejections 
and  penalties  at  United  States  ports,  has  made  the  transportation 
of  diseased  emigrants  unprofitable  to  the  steamship  companies. 
This  law  is  responsible  for  the  elaborate  system  of  emigrant 
inspection  which  prevails  at  ports  of  embarkation  and  elsewhere 
in  Europe  at  the  present  time. 

A  systematic  medical  inspection  of  immigrants  at  United 
States  ports  was  first  established  under  the  immigration  act  of 
March  3,  1891.  Under  that  law  steamship  companies  were 
required  to  return  free  of  charge  excluded  aliens,  and  the  number 


of  rejections  soon  compelled  the  companies  to  exercise  some 
degree  of  care  in  the  selection  of  steerage  passengers  at  foreign 
ports  of  embarkation.  The  necessity  of  a  careful  inspection 
abroad  was  increased  when  in  1897  trachoma  was  classed  as  a 
"  dangerous  contagious"  disease,  within  the  meaning  of  the 
United  States  immigration  law,  and  again  when  the  immigra- 
tion law  of  1903  imposed  a  fine  of  $100  upon  steamship  com- 
panies for  bringing  to  a  United  States  port  an  alien  afflicted 
with  a  loathsome  or  dangerous  contagious  disease,  when  the 
presence  of  such  disease  might  have  been  detected  by  a  compe- 
tent medical  examination  at  the  foreign  port  of  embarkation. 

The  immigration  law  of  1907,  at  present  in  force,  increased 
the  causes  for  which  a  fine  of  $100  may  be  imposed  on  steamship 
companies  to  include  the  bringing  of  idiots,  imbeciles,  epileptics, 
and  persons  afflicted  with  tuberculosis  whose  condition  might 
have  been  detected  at  the  foreign  port  of  embarkation. 

How  to  prevent  the  embarkation  at  foreign  ports  of  emigrants 
who  under  the  immigration  law  cannot  be  admitted  at  United 
States  ports  is  a  serious  problem,  in  which  the  welfare  of  the  emi- 
grant is  the  chief  consideration.  In  a  purely  practical  sense, 
except  for  the  danger  of  contagion  on  shipboard  the  United 
States  is  not  seriously  affected  by  the  arrival  of  diseased  persons 
at  ports  of  entry,  because  the  law  does  not  permit  them  to  enter 
the  country. 

From  a  humanitarian  standpoint,  however,  it  is  obviously  of  the 
greatest  importance  that  emigrants  of  the  classes  debarred  by  law 
from  entering  the  United  States  be  not  allowed  to  embark  at 
foreign  ports.  This  is  accomplished  in  a  large  measure  under  the 
present  system  of  inspection  abroad,  for  in  ordinary  years  at 
least  four  intending  emigrants  are  turned  back  by  the  steamship 
companies  before  leaving  a  European  port  to  one  debarred  at 
United  States  ports  of  arrival. 

In  view  of  the  importance  of  the  subject  the  Commission  made 
careful  investigation  of  examination  systems  prevailing  at  the  ports 
of  Amsterdam,  Antwerp,  Bremen,  Cherbourg,  Christiania,  Copen- 
hagen, Fiume,  Genoa,  Glasgow,  Hamburg,  Havre,  Libau,  Liver- 
pool, Londonderry,  Marseille,  Messina,  Naples,  Palermo,  Patras, 
Piraeus,  Queenstown,  Rotterdam,  and  Southampton,  from  which 
ports  practically  all  emigrants  for  the  United  States  embark. 


There  is  little  uniformity  in  the  systems  of  examination  in 
force  at  these  ports.  At  Naples,  Palermo,  and  Messina,  under 
authority  of  the  United  States  quarantine  law  and  by  agreement 
with  the  Italian  Government  and  the  steamship  companies,  the 
medical  examination  of  steerage  passengers  is  made  by  officers  oi 
the  United  States  Public  Health  and  Marine-Hospital  Service, 
who  exercise  practically  absolute  control  in  this  regard.  These 
officers  examine  for  defects  contemplated  by  the  United  States 
immigration  law  every  intended  emigrant  holding  a  steerage 
ticket  and  advise  the  rejection  of  those  whose  physical  condition 
would  make  their  admission  to  the  United  States  improbable. 
While  acting  unofficially,  these  officers  have  the  support  of  both 
government  and  steamship  officials,  and  their  suggestions  rela- 
tive to  rejection  are  always  complied  with. 

The  other  extreme,  so  far  as  United  States  control  is  concerned, 
exists  at  Antwerp,  where  the  Belgian  Government  is  unwilling  to 
yield  even  partial  control  of  the  situation,  this  attitude  being  due 
in  part  to  a  former  disagreement  incidental  to  the  administration 
of  the  United  States  quarantine  law  at  that  port.  At  Antwerp 
not  even  American  consular  officers  are  permitted  to  interfere 
in  the  examination  of  emigrants.  Between  these  extremes  there 
exists  a  variety  of  systems,  in  which,  for  the  most  part,  American 
consular  officials  perform  more  or  less  important  functions,  as 
outlined  in  the  United  States  quarantine  law  previously  referred 
to.  As  a  practical  illustration  of  the  value  of  examinations  at  the 
various  European  ports  in  preventing  the  embarkation  of  diseased 
or  otherwise  undesirable  emigrants,  the  Commission,  as  will 
appear  later,  has  made  a  comparative  study  showing  rejections, 
by  cause,  at  United  States  ports  of  emigrants  from  different  ports 
of  Europe. 

The  examination  of  intending  emigrants,  however,  is  not  con- 
fined entirely  to  ports  of  embarkation,  but  in  several  instances  is 
required  when  application  for  steamship  ticket  is  made  or  before 
the  emigrant  has  proceeded  to  a  port  of  embarkation.  The  most 
conspicuous  existence  of  such  preliminary  examinations  is  the 
control-station  system  which  the  German  Government  compels 
the  steamship  companies  to  maintain  on  the  German-Russian 
and  German-Austrian  frontiers.  There  are  thirteen  of  these 
stations  on  the  frontier  and  one  near  Berlin.  Germany,  as  a 


matter  of  self-protection,  requires  that  all  emigrants  from  eastern 
Europe  intending  to  cross  German  territory  to  ports  of  em- 
barkation be  examined  at  such  stations,  and  those  who  do  not 
comply  with  the  German  law  governing  the  emigrant  traffic 
through  the  Empire  or  who  obviously  would  be  debarred  at 
United  States  ports  are  rejected.  During  the  year  ending  June 
30,  1907,  out  of  455,916  intended  emigrants  inspected  11,814 
were  turned  back  at  these  stations. 

In  some  countries  an  effort  is  made  to  prevent  intending 
emigrants  from  leaving  home  unless  it  is  evident  that  they  will 
meet  the  requirements  of  examinations  at  control  stations  and 
ports  of  embarkation,  or  of  the  United  ^States  immigration  law. 
This  is  particularly  true  of  Hungary,  where  at  several  points  there 
is  local  supervision  of  the  departure  of  emigrants  for  seaports. 
While  this  supervision  is  due  largely  to  Hungary's  purpose  of 
controlling  emigration,  particularly  where  emigrants  are  liable 
to  military  service,  the  system  prevents  many  from  leaving  home 
who  would  be  rejected  at  ports  of  embarkation  on  account  of 

Medical  examinations,  with  a  view  to  determining  the  admissi- 
bility  of  emigrants  under  the  United  States  law,  are  not  un- 
common in  connection  with  the  sale  of  steamship  tickets.  The 
most  conspicuous  example  of  examinations  of  this  nature  was 
found  in  Greece,  and  this  resulted  from  a  most  forcible  illustration 
of  the  rigidity  of  the  United  States  law.  In  1906  the  Austro- 
Americano  Company,  which  was  then  new  in  the  emigrant-carry- 
ing business,  had  over  300  emigrants  refused  admission  to  the 
United  States  and  returned  on  a  single  voyage.  On  arrival  at 
Trieste  these  returned  emigrants  mobbed  the  steamship  com- 
pany's office,  and  the  experience  resulted  in  the  establishment  by 
the  Austro-Americano  Company  of  a  systematic  scheme  of 
examining  intended  emigrants  in  Greece.  Agents  of  the  company 
in  that  country  sent  their  head  physician  to  study  the  medical 
examination  of  immigrants  at  United  States  ports,  and  physicians 
were  provided  for  the  40  subagencies  of  the  company  in  different 
parts  of  Greece.  Under  the  system  in  force  in  Greece,  before 
any  document  is  given  to  an  intended  emigrant  he  is  examined 
by  the  physician  attached  to  the  subagency.  If  that  physician 
accepts  him  he  receives  a  medical  certificate,  makes  a  deposit 


toward  the  price  of  his  ticket,  and  space  is  reserved  for  him  on  a 
steamer.  When  he  goes  to  the  port  of  embarkation  the  emigrant 
is  examined  by  the  company's  head  physician  and,  if  accepted, 
is  permitted  to  complete  his  purchase  of  a  ticket. 

In  Italy  it  is  the  policy  of  the  Government  to  examine  the 
records  of  intended  emigrants  at  the  time  application  is  made 
for  a  passport,  and  unless  the  applicant  can  comply  -with  the 
Italian  and  United  States  laws  the  passport  is  refused.  But  this 
refers  particularly  to  the  cases  of  criminals  and  convicts  rather 
than  to  the  physically  defective,  and  usually  Italian  emigrants 
are  given  their  first  medical  examination  at  ports  of  embarkation. 

During  the  fiscal  year  ending  June  30,  1907,  a  total  of  13,064 
immigrants  were  rejected  at  United  States  ports,  and  for  the 
three  fiscal  years  ending  June  30,  1909,  the  total  number  of 
immigrants  from  all  sources  rejected  was  34,377,  or  5304  less 
than  were  turned  back  at  the  European  ports  and  control  stations 
above  mentioned  in  a  period  of  thirteen  months. 

The  large  number  of  rejections  at  United  States  ports  is  not 
essentially  an  unfavorable  reflection  on  the  medical  examinations 
conducted  in  Europe  for  the  reason  that  the  latter  are  in  the 
main  confined  to  the  physical  condition  of  emigrants,  while  at  the 
United  States  ports  the  examination  is  much  broader.  But  this 
is  not  all,  for  in  addition  to  the  requirements  of  the  United  States 
law  relative  to  the  return  of  rejected  immigrants  to  ports  of 
embarkation,  European  laws,  as  a  rule,  require  that  steamship 
companies  forward  those  returned  to  their  homes,  or  home 
countries,  which,  in  many  cases,  are  at  a  considerable  distance 
from  the  ports  at  which  the  rejected  ones  embarked.  The  Italian 
law  relative  to  emigrants  returned  from  foreign  ports  imposes 
even  greater  burdens  on  the  carriers.  Under  that  law  the 
returned  emigrant  is  entitled  to  damages  from  the  carrier  if  he 
can  prove  that  the  carrier  was  aware  before  his  departure  from 
Italy  that  he  could  not  be  admitted  under  the  law  of  the  country 
to  which  he  emigrated.  A  tribunal  known  as  the  arbitration 
commission  has  been  established  in  each  province  of  Italy  to 
examine  cases  of  this  nature,  and  the  emigrant  who  has  been 
returned  may  make  a  claim  before  that  commission  without  ex- 
pense to  himself.  In  many  cases,  besides  returning  the  passage 
money,  the  carrier  is  compelled  to  pay  the  returned  emigrant  for 


loss  of  wages  incurred  by  reason  of  his  journey  across  the  sea. 
For  these  reasons  the  transportation  of  emigrants  who  cannot  be 
admitted  to  the  United  States  is  usually  unprofitable,  but  not- 
withstanding this  fact  some  companies  are  willing  to  assume 
considerable  risk  for  the  sake  of  increasing  their  steerage  business. 
In  the  main,  however,  the  examinations  conducted  at  the  various 
ports  are  good  and  effective,  so  far  as  concerns  the  physical 
condition  of  emigrants;  and  as  a  safeguard  against  the  trans- 
portation of  the  diseased,  who  are  certain  to  be  rejected  at  United 
States  ports,  they  are  of  the  greatest  importance,  a  fact  which 
the  commission  believes  is  not  always  fully  realized  by  students  of 
the  immigration  problem  in  the  United  States. 

In  the  complete  report  of  the  commission  upon  this  subject  a 
detailed  description  is  given  of  the  inspection  of  emigrants  at 
each  port  considered,  but  for  the  purpose  of  this  abstract  it  is 
necessary  only  to  note  the  real  and  final  authority  in  determining 
rejections  at  the  different  ports  under  consideration  for  causes 
contemplated  by  the  United  States  immigration  law.  In  some 
instances  this  is  difficult  on  account  of  apparently  divided 
authority,  but  the  following  summary,  it  is  believed,  fairly 
represents  the  situation  of  each  port : 

Antwerp:  Physician  employed  by  steamship  company. 

Bremen:  Physicians  employed  by  American  consul,  but  paid  by 
steamship  companies. 

Cherbourg:  Ship's  doctor. 

Christiania :  Physician  of  the  board  of  health. 

Copenhagen :  Municipal  physician. 

Fiume :  Physician  employed  by  steamship  company,  who  also  acts 
for  the  American  consul. 

Genoa:  Ship's  doctor. 

Glasgow:  Ship's  doctor. 

Hamburg:  Physicians  (including  eye  specialists)  employed  by 
steamship  company. 

Havre :  Physician  (including  an  eye  specialist)  employed  by  steam- 
ship companies. 

Libau :  Physician  employed  by  steamship  company. 

Liverpool :  Physicians  employed  by  steamship  companies. 

Londonderry :  Ship's  doctor. 

Marseille:  Physicians  (including  an  eye  specialist)  employed  by 
steamship  company,  and  the  ship's  doctor. 


Messina:  Acting  assistant  surgeon  of  the  United  States  Public 
Health  and  Marine-Hospital  Service. 

Naples:  Officers  of  the  United  States  Public  Health  and  Marine- 
Hospital  Service. 

Palermo:  Acting  assistant  surgeon  of  the  United  States  Public 
Health  and  Marine-Hospital  Service. 

Pair  as :  Physicians  employed  by  steamship  companies. 

Pirczus :  Ship's  doctor. 

Queenstown :  Ship's  doctor. 

Rotterdam:  Physicians  (including  eye  specialists)  employed  by  the 
steamship  company,  a  physician  employed  by  the  American  con- 
sulate general,  and  the  ship's  doctor. 

Southampton :  Ship's  doctor. 

Trieste:  Physicians  employed  by  steamship  company,  the  ship's 
doctor,  and  police  officers.  The  American  consul  exercises  unusual 

From  the  foregoing  it  is  clear  that  the  steamship  companies 
are  in  the  main  responsible  for  the  medical  examination  of  emi- 
grants at  European  ports  of  embarkation,  and  they  are  the  chief 
beneficiaries  of  the  system.  A  study  of  the  situation  also  shows 
that  the  real  controlling  factor  in  the  situation  at  every  port  is  the 
United  States  immigration  law,  for  without  it  there  would  be  no 
examination  worthy  of  the  name. 

Methods  of  conducting  the  inspection  differ  at  the  various 
ports.  At  some  the  examination,  as  a  rule,  extends  over  several 
days,  and  specialists  are  employed  to  detect  trachoma,  which 
disease  is  the  chief  factor  in  making  a  competent  examination 
necessary.  At  others,  and  particularly  at  some  ports  of  call,  the 
inspection  is  conducted  hurriedly  and  under  seemingly  un- 
favorable circumstances.  In  some  instances  American  officials 
have  absolutely  no  part  in  the  work  and  exercise  no  authority ; 
in  others  American  consuls  participate  actively ;  and  in  the  case 
of  some  of  the  Italian  ports  American  medical  officers  absolutely 
control  the  situation. 

Because  of  the  absence  of  records  the  commission  was  unable  to 
ascertain  for  any  stated  period  the  total  number  of  rejections 
made  at  all  European  ports  included  in  the  inquiry.  In  the  case 
of  some  ports  information  was  not  available  for  all  of  the  steam- 
ship lines  embarking  emigrants  there,  and  in  other  cases  the 
number  of  persons  rejected  was  found,  but  the  cause  of  rejections 


could  not  be  ascertained.  Consequently  the  material  at  hand  is 
incomplete,  but  it  is  sufficient  to  illustrate  the  great  sifting  process 
that  goes  on  at  control  stations  and  ports  before  emigrants  are 
finally  allowed  to  embark  for  the  United  States. 

As  previously  explained,  it  is  impossible  to  state  the  exact 
number  of  intended  emigrants  who  are  refused  passage  to  the 
United  States  from  European  ports  during  any  given  period. 
From  the  records  available  it  may  be  seen  that  of  the  ports  in- 
cluded within  the  commission's  inquiry  no  data  relative  to  rejec- 
tions were  available  for  Antwerp,  Cherbourg,  Chris tiania,  Copen- 
hagen, Londonderry,  Marseille,  Piraeus,  and  Southampton,  while 
for  Genoa,  Liverpool,  Libau,  and  Patras  the  record  is  incomplete. 
This  is  particularly  unfortunate  in  the  case  of  Liverpool,  which  is 
one  of  the  four  great  emigration  ports  of  Europe.  Moreover, 
the  inquiry  did  not  include  the  minor  ports  of  Barcelona,  Bor- 
deaux, Boulogne,  Cadiz,  Calais,  Dover,  Gibraltar,  Hull,  Leghorn, 
Plymouth,  and  Stettin,  at  all  of  which  some  emigrants  embarked 
for  the  United  States  during  the  year  1907.  No  data  whatever 
could  be  secured  relative  to  the  number  of  applicants  who,  on 
account  of  their  physical  condition,  were  refused  transportation 
by  agents  of  the  various  lines  requiring  a  medical  examination  in 
connection  with  the  sale  of  tickets.  It  is  believed,  however,  that 
the  number  rejected  in  this  way  is  relatively  small. 

From  the  foregoing  it  is  clear  that  while  the  number  of  rejec- 
tions, 39,681,  shown  in  the  preceding  table  in  all  probability 
represents  the  greater  part  of  all  rejections  at  ports  of  em- 
barkation and  elsewhere  in  Europe,  the  number  would  be  con- 
siderably increased  were  complete  data  available.  Of  course 
any  estimate  of  the  total  number  rejected  would  of  necessity  be 
largely  speculative,  but  it  seems  safe  to  assume  that  during  the 
period  of  the  thirteen  months  —  December  i,  1906,  to  December 
31,  1907  —  covered  by  the  commission's  inquiry  at  least  50,000 
intended  emigrants  were  refused  transportation  from  European 
ports  to  the  United  States  because  of  the  probability  that  they 
would  be  debarred  at  United  States  ports  under  the  provision  of 
the  immigration  law. 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  practically  all  of  the  rejections  under 
discussion  were  for  some  physical  or  mental  disability.  This  is, 
perhaps,  only  natural,  in  view  of  the  fact  that  the  inspection  at 


practically  every  port  is  conducted  purely  from  a  medical  stand- 
point. In  much  of  the  data  secured  by  the  commission  the 
causes  of  rejection  were  not  given  in  great  detail,  the  classification 
"other  causes"  including  a  considerable  proportion  of  the  rejec- 
tions at  several  ports.  So  far  as  shown  by  the  data,  however,  all 
of  the  rejections  under  consideration  were  for  physical  or  mental 
causes  except  in  the  following  instances  :  Liverpool,  4  "arrested "  ; 
Trieste,  2  "without  means,"  117  "rejected  by  police";  Queens- 
town,  i  "refused  examination." 

It  does  not  appear,  however,  that  the  police  inspection  at 
Trieste  is  an  attempt  to  prevent  embarkation  of  persons  likely 
to  be  excluded  from  the  United  States,  and  consequently  it  can 
hardly  be  considered  as  a  means  of  protecting  the  United  States 
against  the  coming  of  undesirable  classes. 

It  is,  of  course,  possible  that  among  emigrants  rejected  for 
"other  causes"  there  may  be  some  criminals,  prostitutes,  pro- 
curers, paupers,  contract  laborers,  or  other  classes  specifically 
debarred  by  the  United  States  immigration  law ;  but,  if  so,  the 
number  is  too  small  to  be  worthy  of  consideration. 

At  the  German  control  stations  on  the  Russian  and  Austrian 
boundaries  the  amount  of  money  possessed  by  intended  emigrants 
is  taken  into  consideration,  and  according  to  the  records  755 
persons  were  rejected  there  during  the  year  1907  for  "want  of 

On  the  whole,  however,  the  examination  abroad  as  conducted 
at  the  time  of  the  commission's  visit  and  at  the  present  time 
affords  practically  no  protection  from  any  of  the  classes  debarred 
by  the  United  States  law  except  the  physically  or  mentally 
defective,  and  this  notwithstanding  the  fact  that  at  several 
ports  American  consular  officers  actively  participate  in  the 
inspection  and  are  accorded  the  privilege  of  rejecting  emigrants 
who  are  undesirable  within  the  meaning  of  the  United  States 
immigration  law. 

The  system  of  emigrant  inspection  in  force  at  Naples,  Messina, 
and  Palermo  is  of  particular  interest  because  of  the  somewhat 
prevalent  belief  that  an  examination  by  United  States  officers 
at  ports  of  embarkation  would  prevent  the  sailing  of  persons 
who  could  not  be  admitted  to  the  United  States  under  the 
provisions  of  the  immigration  law.  In  his  annual  report  for  the 


fiscal  year  1900  Honorable  T.  V.  Powderly,  Commissioner-General 
of  Immigration,  reiterated  a  recommendation  that  had  been 
made  in  the  two  preceding  reports  of  the  bureau,  as  follows : 

That  physicians  representing  the  government  be  stationed  at  the 
foreign  ports  of  embarkation  for  the  purpose  of  examining  into  the 
physical  condition  of  aliens  who  are  about  to  embark  for  the  United 
States.  Experience  of  the  ability  and  energy  of  the  surgeons  of  the 
United  States  Marine-Hospital  Service  leaves  no  room  for  doubt  that, 
should  they  be  assigned  to  such  duty,  but  few  cases  of  this  dangerous 
disease  would  be  permitted  to  embark,  and  that,  besides  accomplish- 
ing the  most  important  object  of  preventing  the  introduction  of  tra- 
choma (or  other  contagious  diseases  of  the  non-quarantinable  class), 
the  delay  and  trouble  and  uncertainty  incident  to  examination  at  the 
ports  of  the  United  States,  where  limited  accommodations  and  an 
ever  increasing  and  continuous  flow  of  arrivals  necessitates  a  degree 
of  expedition  not  always  consistent  with  thoroughness,  would  be 

The  late  Frank  P.  Sargent,  for  many  years  Commissioner- 
General  of  Immigration,  was  an  advocate  of  this  policy,  and  in 
annual  reports  of  the  bureau  repeatedly  urged  that  it  be  adopted. 
In  1906  Commissioner- General  Sargent,  in  referring  to  the  exam- 
ination of  immigrants,  said : 

The  ideal  plan  for  controlling  this  situation,  however,  is  the  one  that 
has  been  urged  by  the  bureau  for  years,  i.e.,  the  stationing  of  United 
States  medical  officers  abroad,  with  the  requirement  that  all  prospec- 
tive passengers  shall  be  examined  and  passed  by  them  as  physically 
and  mentally  fit  for  landing  in  this  country.  This  would  prevent  the 
emigration  not  only  of  those  afflicted  with  contagious  disease,  but  also 
of  those  afflicted  with  idiocy  and  insanity. 

Fortunately  the  plan  so  long  and  urgently  advocated  by  Messrs. 
Powderly  and  Sargent  has  been  in  operation  at  Italian  ports  long 
enough  to  demonstrate  its  usefulness  and  to  make  possible  a 
comparison  of  results  between  the  inspection  as  conducted  there 
and  at  other  European  ports. 

Since  the  only  purpose  of  the  medical  inspection  of  emigrants 
at  European  ports  of  embarkation  as  here  considered  is  to  avoid 
rejections  and  penalities  at  United  States  ports,  the  only  fair 
and  adequate  test  of  the  efficiency  of  such  examinations  is  the 
record  of  rejections  by  the  United  States  Immigration  Service. 


In  order  to  apply  this  test,  the  commission  secured  from 
published  records  of  the  Bureau  of  Immigration  and  Naturali; 
tion  data  showing  the  number  of  alien  immigrants  arriving 
United  States  ports  from  the  various  ports  of  Europe  and  th 
number  of  such  arrivals  who  were  refused  admission  to    th< 
United  States  for  purely  medical  reasons.     Tru's  record  covers  ( 
six  months  of  the  year  1907,  when  the  method  of  conducting 
medical  examinations  at  the  various  European  ports   was  as 
previously  described.     Thus  the  results  are  perfectly  comparable. 

In  the  first  place,  it  is  of  interest  to  note  that  the  number  de- 
barred is  remarkably  small  when  compared  with  the  total  number 
carried.  This  alone  clearly  illustrates  the  fact  that  as  a  whole  the 
medical  inspection  of  emigrants  prior  to  embarkation  at  European 
ports  is  thoroughly  effective.  Only  0.36  per  cent  of  the  persons 
carried  were  debarred  at  United  States  ports  for  medical  reasons, 
which  is  a  much  smaller  proportion  than  were  rejected  at  Italian 
ports  and  German  control  stations  for  the  same  causes. 

For  the  purpose  of  this  study,  however,  figures  would  be 
chiefly  interesting  as  illustrating  the  relative  effectiveness  of  the 
examination  at  the  various  European  ports  under  consideration. 
In  the  beginning  it  may  be  well  to  state  that  the  class  of  emigrants 
carried  from  the  various  ports  may  and  doubtless  does  affect  the 
situation  somewhat.  For  instance,  practically  all  emigrants 
from  Chris tiania  are  Scandinavians,  and  trachoma  and  favus, 
which  are  the  principal  causes  of  medical  rejection  at  United 
States  ports,  do  not  prevail  in  Scandinavian  countries.  Every 
other  port,  however,  is  to  a  greater  or  less  extent  affected  by  one 
or  both  of  these  diseases.  Copenhagen  is  perhaps  only  slightly 
affected,  through  emigration  from  Finland  where  trachoma  is 
prevalent,  and  Glasgow,  because  relatively  few  continental 
emigrants  sail  from  that  port.  Trachoma  is  not  unknown  in 
Ireland,  but  it  does  not  exist  to  such  an  extent  as  in  southern  and 
eastern  Europe,  and  consequently  Queens  town  and  Londonderry 
cannot  perhaps  be  fairly  classified  with  other  ports  with  regard 
to  the  particular  kinds  of  loathsome,  contagious  diseases  which 
cause  the  rejection  of  so  many  aliens  at  United  States  ports. 

Liverpool,  Southampton,  and  the  continental  ports,  with  the 
exception  of  Christiania  and  Copenhagen,  all  draw  the  greater 
part  of  their  emigrant  traffic  from  southern  and  eastern  Europe, 


and  while,  of  course,  the  degree  to  which  the  diseases  under 
consideration  prevail  differs  in  various  sections,  nevertheless 
such  diseases  are  sufficiently  widespread  to  require  a  careful 
.'medical  inspection  of  emigrants  coming  from  those  sections.  Be- 
cause of  this  fact  the  results  of  the  inspections  at  these  ports 
are  fairly  comparable,  which  makes  possible  a  reasonable  test 
of  the  relative  effectiveness  of  the  different  inspections. 

It  will  be  noted  from  the  preceding  table  that  the  percentage 
of  rejections  was  smallest  among  emigrants  embarking  at  Cher- 
bourg, only  3  rejections  out  of  2016  emigrants  carried  being 
recorded.  This  result  is  particularly  noteworthy  because  Cher- 
bourg draws  emigrant  traffic  from  the  Levantine  countries  where 
trachoma  and  favus  are  widespread,  as  well  as  from  other  southern 
and  eastern  European  countries.  Moreover,  it  is  only  a  port  of 
call  and  no  elaborate  system  of  medical  inspection  prevails  there, 
the  ship's  doctor  being  the  determining  factor  in  the  matter  of 

The  largest  percentage  of  rejections  occurs  among  emigrants 
embarking  at  Marseille,  which  is  not  surprising  because  of  the 
fact  that  steerage  passengers  sailing  from  that  port  are  largely 
drawn  from  Syria  and  countries  of  southern  Europe  where 
trachoma  is  particularly  prevalent. 

A  rather  curious  situation  is  found  in  comparing  rejections 
among  emigrants  from  the  four  ports  of  Antwerp,  Bremen,  Ham- 
burg, and  Rotterdam.  The  steerage  business  of  these  four 
ports  is  very  largely  recruited  in  eastern  Europe,  and  the  class  of 
emigrants  embarking  is  much  the  same  at  each  port.  It  is  true 
also  that  the  great  majority  of  all  emigrants  embarking  at  the 
German  ports,  and  a  large  part  of  those  sailing  from  Antwerp 
and  Rotterdam,  are  subjected  to  an  inspection  at  the  German 
control  stations.  Notwithstanding  these  facts,  however,  there 
is  a  wide  difference  in  the  proportion  of  persons  embarking  at 
the  four  ports  who  are  debarred  at  United  States  ports  for  medical 
causes.  These  proportions  are  as  follows  : 

Bremen 110165     Hamburg 110312 

Rotterdam i  to  279    Antwerp i  to  565 

It  is  necessary  to  note  in  this  connection  that  the  thAe  ports 
having  the  largest  proportions  rejected  have  excellent  emigrant 


stations,  superior  facilities  for  handling  emigrants,  and  elaborate 
and  apparently  thorough  systems  of  inspection.  At  Bremen, 
which  port  makes  by  far  the  worst  showing  in  the  matter  of 
debarments  at  United  States  ports,  it  will  be  remembered  hat 
the  determining  factor  in  the  matter  of  rejections  is  a  physician 
in  the  employ  of  the  American  consulate,  while  at  Antwerp, 
which  shows  relatively  a  very  small  proportion  of  emigrants 
rejected  at  United  States  ports,  American  consular  or  other 
officials  have  absolutely  no  part  in  the  inspection. 

Most  interesting  of  all,  however,  is  a  -  comparison  between 
Antwerp  and  Naples,  for  it  will  be  recalled  that  the  emigrant- 
inspection  systems  in  force  at  these  ports  represent  extremes,  so 
far  as  American  control  is  concerned,  the  inspection  at  Naples1 
being  entirely  in  the  hands  of  the  United  States  Public  Health 
and  Marine-Hospital  surgeons.  Measured  by  debarments  at  \ 
United  States  ports,  however,  the  inspection  at  Antwerp  is  \ 
considerably  more  effective,  for  while  the  proportion  refused 
admission  to  the  United  States  is  only  i  to  565  among  emigrants 
embarking  at  that  port,  the  proportion  among  emigrants  sailing 
from  Naples  is  i  to  305.  In  the  case  of  other  Italian  ports  where 
American  medical  officers  were  in  charge  the  proportion  of 
emigrants  debarred  at  the  United  States  ports  is  as  follows : 
Palermo,  i  to  215  ;  Messina,  i  to  293  ;  and  Genoa,  where  during 
the  period  under  consideration  the  medical  inspection  was  made 
by  ship's  doctors,  i  to  421.  It  may  be  said,  however,  that  the 
particular  diseases  for  which  emigrants  are  debarred  at  United 
States  ports  are  not  so  prevalent  among  classes  embarking  at 
Genoa  as  at  the  more  southern  ports  of  Italy. 

A  comparison  between  the  Adriatic  ports  of  Trieste  and  Fiume 
is  interesting.  At  the  latter  port  the  medical  inspection  is  made 
by  a  steamship  company  doctor  and  a  physician  employed  by 
the  American  consul,  but  the  Commission  was  informed  that 
the  examination  by  the  former  was  so  rigid  that  it  had  not  been 
necessary  for  the  consulate  physician  to  reject  any  emigrants  for 
some  time  previously.  The  American  consul  attends  the  examina- 
tions, but  does  not  exercise  unusual  authority.  At  Trieste  the 
medical  inspection  is  made  by  resident  physicians  of  the  steamship 
company  and  the  ship's  doctor,  while  the  American  consul,  at  the 
time  under  consideration,  exercised  a  greater  degree  of  authority 

94       /  CAUSES 

than /was  exercised  by  such  consular  officers  at  any  other  Euro- 
pean/port. The  consul  informed  the  commission  that  he  insisted 
on  rejections  not  only  for  trachoma  and  favus,  but  for  less  con- 
spiouous  physical  defects  as  well.  Experience  at  United  States 
porp  with  emigrants  from  Fiume  and  Trieste  indicates  that, 
notwithstanding  the  great  degree  of  authority  exercised  by  the 
consul  at  the  latter  port,  the  inspection  at  Fiume  is  much  more 
effective.  In  fact,  the  proportion  debarred  at  United  States  ports 
ai/nong  emigrants  from  Fiume  is  only  i  to  597,  while  the  pro- 
>rtion  debarred  among  emigrants  sailing  from  Trieste  is  i  to 
,  1 8 .  The  proportion  debarred  among  emigrants  embarking  at  the 
rreek  ports  of  Patras  and  Piraeus  is  large,  being  i  to  175  in  the 
ise  of  the  former,  and  i  to  163  in  the  case  of  the  latter. 







BY  THE  Treaty  of  Peace,  which  was  signed  at  Paris  on 
February  loth,  1763,  Great  Britain  gained  possession 
of  the  whole  of  North  America  situated  east  of  the  Mississippi 
River,  with  the  exception  of  the  town  of  New  Orleans  and  the 
neighboring  district.  She  thus  retained  the  original  thirteen 
states,  and  added  to  her  dominions  the  territory  of  Canada  with 
all  its  dependencies,  and  the  island  of  Cape  Breton. 

For  some  few  years  prior  to  these  diplomatic  arrangements, 
the  original  British  Colonies  had  been  welcoming  a  steady  inflow 
of  immigrants  from  the  Mother  Country,  and,  as  these  maritime 
states  suffered  little  or  no  change  of  administration  following 
on  the  terms  of  peace,  the  human  stream  continued  to  find  its 
way  into  them  unaffected  by  the  redistribution  of  political  power 
between  France  and  England.  No  authoritative  data  concern- 
ing the  statistics  of  this  migratory  movement  were  preserved 
or  even  collected,  but  it  is  safe  to  say  that  its  strength  was  by 
no  means  insignificant.  A  writer  in  the  Gentleman's  Magazine l 
'of  1774  gave  figures  to  show  that  in  the  five  years  1769-1774  no 
less  than  43,720  people  sailed  from  the  five  Irish  ports  of  Lon- 
donderry, Belfast,  Newry,  Larne,  and  Portrush  to  various  settle- 
ments on  the  Atlantic  seaboard.  These  points  of  departure 
were  thus  responsible  for  an  annual  outgoing  of  at  least  8740 

1  Op.  cit.,  p.  332,  Vol.  XLIV. 


souls.  Scotland  was  contributing  even  more,1  at  this  time,  to 
the /exodus  than  was  Ireland,  whilst  England  was  also  furnishing 
colonists,  but  to  a  lesser  degree.  From  these  facts  it  seems  fair 
to  assume  that  the  home  emigration  to  the  English  states  across 
the  Atlantic  resulted  in  a  displacement  of  quite  twenty  thousand 
souls  per  annum. 

The  majority  of  the  settlers  within  this  area  were  drawn 
from  the  Highlands  of  Scotland  and  from  Ireland  generally. 
The  Scots  Magazine  for  the  years  1771-1775  contains  a  number 
oi  references  to  the  emigration  of  these  early  times. 

We  are  informed  [runs  one  paragraph],2  that  upwards  of  five  hun- 
dred souls  from  Islay  and  the  adjacent  islands  prepare  to  migrate 
next  summer  to  America  under  the  conduct  of  a  gentleman  of  wealth 
and  merit  whose  predecessors  resided  in  Islay  for  many  centuries 
past,  and  that  there  is  a  large  colony  of  the  most  wealthy  and  sub- 
stantial people  in  Sky  making  ready  to  follow  the  example  of  the 
Argathelians'in  going  to  the  fertile  and  cheap  lands  on  the  other  side 
of  the  Atlantic  Ocean. 

Another  quotation 3  says : 

In  the  beginning  of  June,  1772,  about  forty-eight  families  of  poor 
people  from  Sutherland  arrived  at  Edinburgh  on  their  way  to  Greenock 
in  order  to  imbark  4  for  North  America.  Since  that  time,  we  have 
heard  of  two  other  companies,  one  of  a  hundred,  another  of  ninety, 
being  on  their  journey  with  the  same  intention.  The  cause  of  this 
emigration  they  assign  to  be  want  of  the  means  of  livelihood  at  home 
through  the  opulent  grasiers  ingrossing  the  farms  and  turning  them 
into  pasture. 

Perhaps  a  still  more  interesting  quotation  is  the  following : 5 

In  the  beginning  of  September,  the  Lord  Advocate  represented  to 
the  commissioners  of  the  customs,  the  impropriety  of  clearing  out 
any  vessels  from  Scotland  with  emigrants  for  America :  in  consequence 
of  which,  orders  were  sent  to  the  several  custom-houses  injoining  8 
them  to  grant  no  clearances  to  any  ship  for  America  which  had  more 
than  the  common  complement  of  hands  on  board. 

1  Vide  Annual  Register,  Scots  Magazine,  Gentleman's  Magazine,  etc.,  of  a  con- 
temporary date. 

2  Vol.  XXXIII,  p.  325,  year  1 771. 
8  Vol.  XXXIV,  p.  395,  year  1772. 

4  The  original  spelling  is  preserved. 

6  Scots  Magazine,  Vol.  XXXVII,  1775,  P-  523.  6  Original  spelling. 


Summarizing  the  substance  of  these  and  other  passages  of  a 
contemporary  date,  we  may  state  that,  between  1763  and  1775, 
emigration  to  the  old  British  Colonies  in  North  America  was 
regularly  and  constantly  practiced,  that  those  who  joined  in 
the  exodus  were  sometimes  in  possession  of  considerable  sums  of 
money,1  that  changes  in  agricultural  economy  were  usually  the 
cause  of  the  unrest,  and  that  the  local  authorities  feared,  but 
with  little  reason,  that  the  outward  streams  might  eventually 
depopulate  the  country. 

When  Canada  and  its  dependencies  were  placed  under  British 
rule,  it  became  an  obvious  advantage  for  a  proportion  of  our 
colonists  to  settle  within  this  newly  acquired  territory.  We 
find,  therefore,  that  the  Royal  proclamation  of  1763  authorized 
the  free  granting  of  land,  within  this  area,  to  officers  and  soldiers 
who  had  served  in  the  war ;  it  also  encouraged  British  settlers, 
generally,  by  providing  a  General  Assembly. 

The  first  to  take  up  military  settlements  were  the  Frasers 
and  Montgomeries,  who  chose  Murray  Bay  as  the  site  of  their 
new  homes;  this  they  did  in  1763.  Farming  was  their  chief 
occupation,  but  in  1775  they  formed  the  first  battalion  of  the 
Royal  Highland  Emigrants.  Speaking  of  this  regiment,  the 
Scots  Magazine  for  1775  2  said : 

A  ship  sailed  lately  from  Greenock  for  America  with  shoes,  stock- 
ings, plaids,  belts,  etc.,  for  a  regiment  of  emigrants  now  raising  by 
Government  in  America  to  be  called  the  Royal  Highland  Emigrants. 
Mr.  Murdoch  Maclean  of  Edinburgh  is  appointed  captain  in  them. 

Quickly  following  on  the  settlement  of  the  Frasers  and  Mont- 
gomeries was  that  of  a*  party  of  British  colonists  who  had  pre- 
viously made  their  home  in  the  New  England  states;  they 
encamped  at  Maugerville,  on  the  banks  of  the  St.  John  River.3  A 
third  group  of  colonists  came  from  Belfast  and  Londonderry, 
where  they  had  been  engaged  in  the  wool  trade.  In  1767,  the 
whole  of  Prince  Edward  Island  was  allotted  to  sixty-seven 
proprietors,  chiefly  Scotch,  on  condition  that  they  should  settle 
European  Protestants  or  British  Americans  on  their  domains, 

1  "  People  sailed  from  Maryburgh  and  took  at  least  £6000  with  them."  — 
Scots  Magazine,  Vol.  XXXV,  p.  557.  2  Vol.  XXXVII,  p.  690. 

3  J.  D.  Rogers,  "Historical  Geography  of  the  British  Colonies"  (Lucas),  Vol.  V, 
part  3,  p.  81. 


a  condition  which  they  fulfilled  by  stocking  the  land  exclusively 
with  Highlanders,  most  of  whom  were  of  Roman  Catholic  faith, 
and  with  Dumfries  men.1  In  1772-1774,  a  number  of  Yorkshire 
Methodists  settled  at  Sackville,  New  Brunswick,  and  Amherst, 
Nova  Scotia.2  Many  other  records  of  colonization  in  Canada 
may  be  mentioned,  but  it  has  been  shown,  with  sufficient  insist- 
ence, that  the  inflow  from  England,  Ireland,  and  especially 
Scotland,  during  this  period,  was  of  an  important  nature. 

Though  Canada  had  received  great  numbers  of  emigrants 
from  the  United  Kingdom,  th,ese  were  few  in  comparison  with 
the  crowds  of  men  and  women  who  entered  this  territory  after 
the  war  broke  out.  The  extent  of  this  complex  movement  is  but 
imperfectly  understood.  It  is  known,  however,  that  the  Loyalist 
migration  into  British  territory  flowed  in  two  great  streams,  one 
by  sea  to  Nova  Scotia  and  the  other  overland  to  Canada.  In 
this  second  stream  were  many  Highland  families  which  had  only 
recently  settled  in  the  Colony  of  New  York  —  Macdonells, 
Chisholms,  Grants,  Camerons,  M'Intyres  and  Fergusons.  Promi- 
nent among  these  Highland  families  were  the  Macdonells,  who 
were  Roman  Catholics  from  Glengarry  in  Inverness.  In  1773, 
they  had  settled  in  the  Mohawk  Valley,  but,  when  hostilities 
began,  had  flocked  to  the  Loyalist  banner;  they  afterwards 
went  to  Ontario  and  made  their  new  homes  in  a  country  to  which 
they  gave  the  name  of  Glengarry.3  This  site  was  probably  chosen 
because  it  bordered  on  the  edge  of  Lower  Canada,  and  so  enabled 
the  Highland  Catholics  to  enter  into  a  bond  of  religious  sympathy 
with  the  adjacent  French  Catholics. 

Treating  the  movement  in  greater  detail,  it  may  be  said  that 
the  Loyalists  first  entered  the  provinces  of  Nova  Scotia  and  New 
Brunswick  in  1783,  and  in  the  following  year  mustered  28,347 
souls.  The  older  settlers  of  British  descent  in  this  area,  it  may 
be  mentioned  in  parenthesis,  only  totaled  fourteen  thousand. 
Cape  Breton  Island  attracted,  roughly,  three  thousand  settlers, 
whilst  other  streams  of  exiled  humanity  poured  into  the  peninsula 
of  Gaspe  and  the  seignory  of  Sorel.  In  Upper  Canada  and  the 
present  province  of  Ontario,  the  refugees  numbered  some  thirty 

1  J.  D.  Rogers,  "Historical  Geography  of  the  British  Colonies"  (Lucas),  Vol.  V, 
part  3,  p.  54. 

2  Ibid.,  p.  57.  3  J.  Murray  Gibbon,  "Scots  in  Canada,"  pp.  63-65. 


thousand,  but  it  is  probable  that  this  estimate  includes  at  least 
a  small  proportion  of  reemigrated  Loyalists  from  the  maritime 
provinces,  as  the  total  movement  was  not  supposed  to  exceed 
forty  thousand  in  all.1 

The  Loyalists  were  drawn  from  almost  all  the  original  states, 
but  Virginia  and  New  York,  their  stronghold,  provided  the  main 
body ;  Connecticut  also  furnished  an  important  element ;  whilst 
Pennsylvania  sent  a  slightly  lesser  number  than  Connecticut. 
From  the  town  of  Philadelphia,  alone,  three  thousand  people 
fled  when  the  British  Army  withdrew. 

As  a  body,  the  United  Loyalists  fared  badly  in  the  early  years 
of  their  settlement.  Some  drifted  away,  many  complained  of 
the  long  winters,  and,  had  it  not  been  for  Government  gifts  of 
land,  seed,  food,  clothing,  and  money,  their  plight  would  have 
been  disastrous.  Later,  the  more  determined  ones  attained  suc- 
cess and  "made  of  New  Brunswick  and  Nova  Scotia  sound  and 
thriving  provinces  of  the  British  Empire."  2 

The  actual  settlement  of  the  Loyalists  forms  in  itself  an  impor- 
tant chapter  of  colonial  history,  but  the  welcoming  of  these  refu- 
gees from  the  south  to  the  sparsely  populated  lands  of  Canada  is 
to  be  remembered  most  for  its  effect  on  succeeding  generations 
of  emigrants.  We  must  remember  that,  until  the  arrival  of  the 
Loyalists,  most  of  the  lands  situated  more  than  a  few  miles  from 
the  chief  waterways  were  uninhabited,  uncultivated,  and  more 
or  less  forbidding.  But  the  Loyalists  went  in  of  sheer  necessity 
and  formed,  as  it  were,  the  nucleus  for  later  settlers.  Thus,  it  is 
not  too  much  to  say  that  they  laid  the  foundation  for  the  west- 
ward extension  of  Canada  as  we  know  it  to-day. 

In  1785,  the  men  of  Glengarry,  Canada,  induced  a  party  of 
five  hundred  Scotch  Glengarries  to  come  and  join  them.  In 
the  Gazette  of  Quebec,  under  the  date  of  September  7th,  1785, 
their  coming  was  heralded  as  follows : 

Arrived,  ship  McDonald,  Captain  Robert  Stevenson,  from  Green- 
ock  with  emigrants,  nearly  the  whole  of  a  parish  in  the  north  of 
Scotland,  who  emigranted  with  their  priest  (the  Reverend  Alexander 
Macdonell  Scotus)  and  nineteen  cabin  passengers,  together  with  five 
hundred  and  twenty  steerage  passengers,  to  better  their  case. 

1  Cf.  Sir  Charles  Lucas,  "History  of  Canada,"  1763-1812,  pp.  225-226. 

2  Sir  Charles  Lucas,  "History  of  Canada,"  1763-1812,  p.  224. 


The  success  of  these  men  of  Glengarry  induced  others  to  follow. 
Apparently,  Alexander  Macdonell  conducted  a  second  party 
to  Canada  in  the  year  1791.  In  1793,  Captain  Alexander  M'Leod 
took  out  forty  families  of  M'Leods,  M'Guaigs,  M'Gillwrays  and 
M 'In toshes  from  Glenelg  and  placed  them  on  land  at  Kirkhill, 
whilst  a  large  party  of  Camerons  from  Lochiel,  Scotland,  settled 
in  1799  at  Lochiel,  Canada.1  Other  Highlanders  went  to  Cape 
Breton  Island,  to  the  Niagara  district,  and  to  the  shores  of  Lake  Erie. 

In  1803,  Lord  Hobart,  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies, 
wrote  from  Downing  Street  to  Lieutenant-General  Hunter, 
Lieutenant-Governor  of  Upper  Canada,  the  following  letter : 2 

A  body  of  Highlanders,  mostly  Macdonells,  and  partly  disbanded 
soldiers  of  the  Glengarry  Fencible  Regiment,  with  their  families  and 
immediate  connections,  are  upon  the  point  of  quitting  their  present 
place  of  abode,  with  the  design  of  following  into  Upper  Canada  some 
of  their  relatives  who  have  already  established  themselves  in  that 

The  merit  and  services  of  the  Regiment,  in  which  a  proportion  of 
these  people  have  served,  give  them  strong  claims  to  any  mark  of 
favor  and  consideration  which  can  consistently  be  extended  to  them : 
and  with  the  encouragement  usually  afforded  in  the  Province,  they 
would  no  doubt  prove  as  valuable  settlers  as  their  connections  now 
residing  in  the  District  of  Glengarry  of  whose  industry  and  general 
good  conduct  very  favorable  representations  have  been  received  here. 

Government  has  been  apprised  of  the  situation  and  disposition 
of  the  families  before  described  by  Mr.  Macdonell,  one  of  the  Ministers 
of  their  Church,  and  formerly  Chaplain  to  the  Glengarry  Regiment, 
who  possesses  considerable  influence  with  the  whole  body. 

He  has  undertaken,  in  the  event  of  their  absolute  determination 
to  carry  into  execution  their  plan  of  departure,  to  embark  with  them 
and  direct  their  course  to  Canada. 

In  case  of  their  arrival  within  your  Government,  I  am  commanded 
by'His  Majesty  to  authorize  you  to  grant  in  the  usual  manner  a  tract  of 
the  unappropriated  Crown  lands  in  any  part  of  the  Province  where  they 
may  wish  to  fix,  in  the  proportion  of  1200  acres  to  Mr.  Macdonell,  and 
two  hundred  acres  to  every  family  he  may  introduce  into  the  Colony. 

The  Highlanders  in  question  arrived  in  due  course,  and  were 
settled  close  to  the  lands  taken  by  their  kinsmen  in  1783  and  1785. 

1 J.  Murray  Gibbon,  "  Scots  in  Canada,"  p.  70. 
2  Reprinted  in  "  Scots  in  Canada,"  p.  70. 


Among  the  earliest  organizers  of  colonization  schemes  in  the 
nineteenth  century  may  be  placed  Lord  Selkirk.  This  Scotch- 
man banded  together  a  number  of  thrifty  farmers  of  his  own  race 
who  had  given  up  their  highland  territories,  and  escorted  them 
to  Prince  Edward  Island,  where  they  were  comfortably  located 
on  a  settlement  vacated  by  the  French.  The  Government 
freely  placed  tracts  of  land  at  their  disposal,  but  proffered  no 
financial  support.  What  money  was  necessary  came  either  from 
Lord  Selkirk  or  was  derived  from  sales,  held  in  the  Old  Country, 
of  the  settlers'  stock.1 

Three  vessels  were  chartered  to  carry  the  eight  hundred  odd 
colonists  across  the  Atlantic,  and  these  reached  their  destination 
on  the  yth,  gth,  and  2yth  of  August,  1803.  Selkirk  took  passage 
in  one  of  the  regular  liners,  and  arrived  in  the  island  shortly 
after  the  first  party  had  landed.  The  following  account,2  written 
by  himself,  is  interesting  in  that  it  gives  a  capital  insight  into 
the  early  life  of  his  settlers  : 

I  lost  no  time  in  proceeding  to  the  spot,  where  I  found  that  the 
people  had  already  lodged  themselves  in  temporary  wigwams,  con- 
structed after  the  fashion  of  the  Indians,  by  setting  up  a  number  of 
poles  in  a  conical  fashion,  tied  together  at  top,  and  covered  with 
boughs  of  trees. 

The  settlers  had  spread  themselves  along  the  shore  for  the  dis- 
tance of  about  half  a  mile,  upon  the  site  of  an  old  French  village, 
which  had  been  destroyed  and  abandoned  after  the  capture  of  the 
island  by  the  British  forces  in  1758.  The  land,  which  had  formerly 
been  cleared  of  wood,  was  overgrown  again  with  thickets  of  young 
trees,  interspersed  with  grassy  glades.  I  arrived  at  the  place  late 
in  the  evening,  and  it  had  then  a  very  striking  appearance.  Each 
family  had  kindled  a  large  fire  near  their  wigwams,  and  round  these 
were  assembled  groups  of  figures,  whose  peculiar  national  dress  added 
to  the  singularity  of  the  scene. 

Provisions,  adequate  to  the  whole  demand,  were  purchased  by 
an  agent;  he  procured  some  cattle  for  beef  in  distant  parts  of  the 
island,  and  also  a  large  quantity  of  potatoes,  which  were  brought 
by  water  carriage  into  the  center  of  the  settlement,  and  each  family 
received  their  share  within  a  short  distance  of  their  own  residence. 

1  Edinburgh  Review,  Vol.  VII,  pp.  180-190. 

2  Observations  on  the  Present  State  of  the  Highlands  of  Scotland,  1805.   The 
passage  has  been  reprinted  recently  in  "Scots  in  Canada,"  p.  51,  etc. 


To  obviate  the  terrors  which  the  woods  were  calculated  to  inspire, 
the  settlement  was  not  dispersed,  as  those  of  the  Americans  usually 
are,  over  a  large  tract  of  country,  but  concentrated  within  a  moderate 
space.  The  lots  were  laid  out  in  such  a  manner  that  there  were  gen- 
erally four  or  five  families  and  sometimes  more,  who  built  their  houses 
in  a  little  knot  together ;  the  distance  between  the  adjacent  hamjets 
seldom  exceeded  a  mile.  Each  of  them  was  inhabited  by  persons 
nearly  related,  who  sometimes  carried  on  their  work  in  common,  or, 
at  least,  were  always  at  hand  to  come  to  each  other's  assistance. 

The  settlers  had  every  inducement  to  vigorous  exertion  from  the 
nature  of  their  tenures.  They  were  allowed  to  purchase  in  fee  simple, 
and  to  a  certain  extent  on  credit;  from  fifty  to  one  hundred  acres 
were  allotted  to  each  family  at  a  very  moderate  price,  but  none  was 
given  gratuitously.  To  accommodate  those  who  had  no  superfluity 
of  capital,  they  were  not  required  to  pay  the  price  in  full  till  the  third 
or  fourth  year  of  their  possession. 

Selkirk  remained  in  the  colony  for  a  month,  and  then  set  him- 
self the  task  of  exploring  the  inland  tracts  of  Upper  Canada. 
Twelve  months  later  he  returned  and  made  the  following  report : 1 

I  found  the  settlers  engaged  in  securing  the  harvest  which  their 
industry  had  procured.  They  had  a  small  proportion  of  grain  of 
various  kinds,  but  potatoes  were  the  principal  crop ;  these  were  of 
excellent  quality  and  would  have  been  alone  sufficient  for  the  entire 
support  of  the  settlement.  .  .  .  The  extent  of  land  in  cultivation 
at  the  different  hamlets  I  found  to  be  in  the  general  proportion  of 
two  acres  or  thereabouts  to  each  able  working  hand ;  in  many  cases 
from  three  to  four.  Several  boats  had  also  been  built,  by  means  of 
which  a  considerable  supply  of  fish  had  been  obtained,  and  formed 
no  trifling  addition  to  the  stock  of  provisions.  Thus,  in  little  more 
than  a  year,  one  year  from  the  date  of  their  landing  on  the  island, 
had  these  people  made  themselves  independent  of  any  supply  that 
did  not  arise  from  their  own  labor. 

So  great  was  the  success  of  Selkirk's  first  attempt  at  coloniza- 
tion that  he  made  plans  for  a  second  scheme  in  1811.  In  this 
year  he  leased  lands  from  the  Hudson's  Bay  Company,  some 
two  thousand  square  miles  in  extent,  and  stretching  from  Mani- 
toba to  Minnesota.  To  this  colony  many  shiploads  of  dispos- 
sessed Scotch  farmers  were  sent,  but  neither  he  nor  his  officers 
fully  appreciated  the  difficulties  which  were  to  confront  them. 

1  Quoted  from  "Scots  in  Canada,"  pp.  54,  55. 


Selkirk  did  not  seem  to  realize  that  the  establishment  of  a  colony 
in  the  then  unknown  West  was  quite  a  different  matter  to  organ- 
izing-an  encampment  on  the  accessible  shores  of  Prince  Edward 
Island.  From  the  very  outset,  the  second  expedition  proved 
disastrous.  Not  only  were  the  colonists  improperly  equipped  for 
carrying  on  agricultural  pursuits  in  such  remote  parts,  but  the 
position  of  their  settlement  brought  them  into  conflict  with  the 
Northwest  traders.  The  newly  acquired  farm  lands,  it  must  be 
explained,  lay  across  the  trading  routes  leading  into  the  interior 
and,  therefore,  constituted  a  menace  to  the  hunting  expeditions 
of  the  half-breeds.  As  a  consequence,  these  latter  determined  to 
rid  the  locality  of  the  newcomers,  which  they  did  in  1815  by  pil- 
laging and  burning  the  farms  belonging  to  Selkirk's  tenantry. 
More  than  a  half  of  the  sufferers,  however,  took  up  settle- 
ments in  other  parts  of  the  country,  chiefly  around  St.  Thomas 
and  London  in  Ontario,  but  their  ultimate  fate  is  uncertain. 

Closely  following  the  schemes  of  Selkirk  came  that  of  Colonel 
Talbot,  a  member  of  the  Lieu  tenant- Governor's  staff  in  Canada. 
From  various  parts  of  the  United  Kingdom,  but  specially  from 
Scotland,  he  collected  some  two  thousand  men,  women,  and 
children,  probably  during  the  year  1813,  and  settled  them  at 
Port  Talbot  on  Lake  Erie.  To  this  nucleus  of  settlers  he  annually 
added  other  emigrants,  until  in  1823  it  was  reported  that  he  had 
under  his  control  no  less  than  twelve  thousand  souls.  The 
financial  burden  of  his  undertaking  was  probably  borne  jointly 
by  the  British  Government  and  the  Canadian  Legislature,  the 
former  finding  the  passage  money,  and  the  latter  providing  the 
food  supplies.  On  this  matter,  however,  some  uncertainty  exists, 
but  it  is  recognized  that  his  followers  were  too  poor  to  provide 
for  themselves,  whilst  Colonel  Talbot,  we  know,  received  pay- 
ment for  his  services.  As  to  the  success  of  the  scheme,  the  Report 
says  that  the  people  who  emigrated  were  of  the  poorest  descrip- 
tion, but,  when  last  heard  of,  were  as  independent  and  contented 
a  band  of  yeomanry  as  any  in  the  world.1 

1  The  following  is  interesting  in  that  it  is  a  copy  of  a  leaflet  which  was  handed 
to  each  of  Talbot's  original  settlers : 

"On  application  made  to  the  superintendent  of  the  land  granting  department 
of  the  district  in  which  he  proposes  to  settle,  the  colonist  will  obtain  a  ticket  of 
location,  for  a  certain  quantity  of  land ;  furnished  with  this,  his  first  care  ought 


Selkirk  and  Talbot  had  few  contemporary  imitators,  for 
between  1806  and  1815  Napoleon  was  harassing  Europe,  and 
men  found  employment  in  connection  with  military  and  transport 
operations,  not  needing  for  the  time,  the  possibilities  which  a 
colonial  life  offered  them. 

The  period  of  1783-1815  is  important,  in  that  it  paved  the  way 
for  the  movement  which  was  to  assume  such  notable  proportions 
during  the  nineteenth  and  twentieth  centuries.  Without  the 
inrush  of  Loyalist  settlers  to  Canada  in  the  closing  years  of  the 
eighteenth  century,  the  map  of  British  North  America,  to-day, 
would  probably  present  a  very  different  aspect.  It  was  these 
sturdy  men  and  women  who  broke  down  the  barriers  of  forests 
and  wildernesses  which  seemed  impenetrable,  and  opened  the 
course  for  later  settlement.  In  comparison  with  the  volume  of 
the  present  outflow,  the  emigrants  of  this  early  period  were,  of 
course,  insignificant  in  numbers,  but  they  were  pioneers  and 
made  history  and  must  be  valued  accordingly.  Their  actual 
labors,  commercial  and  agricultural,  were  of  no  great  moment, 
for  they  had  many  difficulties  with  which  to  contend.  In  Lower 
Canada,  financial  conditions  were  oppressive :  land  tenure, 
everywhere,  bred  discontent,  whilst  discord  with  the  rebel 
neighbors  of  the  south  proved  a  constant  source  of  danger. 

Major-General  T.  Bland  Strange,  in  the  United  Service  Maga- 
zine, May,  1903,  pp.  151-152,  writes: 

to  be  to  select  a  proper  situation  for  his  house.  This  should  be  placed,  as  near  as 
may  be,  to  the  public  road  on  which  his  lot  abuts,  and  contiguous,  if  possible,  to 
a  spring  or  run  of  water.  Having  chosen  his  spot,  he  then  sets  about  clearing  a 
sufficient  space  to  erect  his  house  on,  taking  care  to  cut  down  all  the  large  trees 
within  the  distance  of  at  least  100  feet.  The  dimensions  of  the  house  are  generally 
20  feet  by  1 8  feet,  and  the  timber  used  in  constructing  the  walls,  consisting  of  the 
rough  stems  of  trees  cut  into  those  lengths,  is  not  to  exceed  2  feet  in  diameter ;  the 
height  of  the  roof  is  commonly  about  13  feet,  which  affords  a  ground- room  and  one 
overhead ;  the  house  is  roofed  in  with  shingles  (a  sort  of  wooden  tiles)  split  out  of 
the  oak,  chestnut,  or  pine  timber ;  a  door,  windows,  and  an  aperture  for  the  chimney 
at  one  end,  are  next  cut  out  of  the  walls,  the  spaces  between  the  logs  being  filled 
up  with  split  wood,  and  afterwards  plastered  both  inside  and  out  with  clay  and 
mortar,  which  renders  it  perfectly  warm.  When  once  the  necessary  space  for  the 
house  is  cleared  and  the  logs  for  the  walls  collected  on  the  spot,  the  expense  and 
labor  of  the  settler  in  erecting  his  habitation  is  a  mere  trifle ;  it  being  an  established 
custom  among  the  neighboring  settlers  to  give  their  assistance  in  the  raising  of  it ; 
and  the  whole  is  performed  in  a  few  hours.  The  settler  having  now  a  house  over 
his  head  commences  clearing  a  sufficient  quantity  of  land  to  raise  the  annual  supply 
of  provisions  required  for  his  family." 


The  British  effort  at  military  colonization,  after  the  conquest  by 
Wolfe,  proved  futile.  The  Eraser  Highlanders  were  disbanded  and 
settled  at  Murray  Bay,  on  the  St.  Lawrence,  but  as  no  Scotch  lassies 
were  provided,  they  married  the  lively  little  French  girls,  whose  creed, 
language,  and  nationality  they  adopted;  the  only  traces  of  their 
Highland  descent  are  their  names  and  red  hair.  At  the  close  of  the 
Peninsular  War,  individual  naval  and  military  officers  settled  in  what 
was  called  Upper  Canada,  but  no  systematic  effort  was  made  to  en- 
courage the  settlement  of  the  rank  and  file  —  quite  the  contrary, 
from  that  day  to  this,  everything  has  been  done  to  discourage  it. 
Under  the  administration  of  Mr.  Cardwell,  the  garrisons  were  with- 
drawn from  all  the  Colonies  suitable  for  settlement  by  white  soldiers. 
The  old  Royal  Canadian  Rifles,  composed  of  Volunteers  from  various 
British  regiments,  were  struck  off  the  Army  list,  as  also  the  old  Cape 
Mounted  Rifles,  and  the  emigration  of  officers  was  checked  by  a  Royal 
warrant  subjecting  them  to  loss  of  pension,  should  they  elect  to  serve 
under  any  Colonial  Government.  At  the  close  of  the  Crimean  War, 
the  only  soldiers  assisted  to  emigrate,  and  given  grants  of  land,  were 
the  German  Legion  whom  we  settled  in  South  Africa,  though  they 
never  fired  a  shot  for  us ;  some  of  their  descendants  probably  fought 
against  us  in  the  late  war.  Our  own  British-born  soldiers  of  the 
Crimean  War  and  Indian  Mutiny  were,  in  many  cases,  left  to  die  in 
the  workhouse,  as  the  shorter  periods  of  service  then  introduced 
deprived  them  of  the  right  of  pension.  At  the  close  of  these  wars, 
the  reductions  in  our  arsenals  and  dockyards  drove  large  numbers 
of  mechanics,  some  of  whom  were  ex-soldiers  and  sailors,  with  their 
families,  to  the  United  States,  whose  industries,  especially  of  war 
material,  largely  benefited  thereby.  According  to  Lord  Charles 
Beresford  something  similar  is  now  going  on  in  his  constituency 
at  Woolwich. 

The  earlier  settlement  by  the  Pilgrim  Fathers  was  on  independent 
lines,  assisted  in  the  Southern  States,  as  later  in  Australia,  by  the  trans- 
portation of  convicts,  sometimes  for  slight  offences,  who  in  many 
instances  became  good  citizens. 

HISTORICAL   SURVEY  (1815-1912) 

Though  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom  to  North 
America  had  begun  on  a  limited  scale  in  the  early  part  of  the 
seventeenth  century 1  and  had  grown  in  volume  during  the 

1  Colonization  Circular,  1877,  p.  7. 


eighteenth,  no  official  returns  relating  to  the  extent  of  the  exodus 
were  made  until  1815.  In  this  year,  the  great  war,  in  which 
England  had  for  so  long  been  engaged,  terminated,  and  men 
turned  to  emigration  as  though  it  were  the  one  panacea  for  all 
social  ills.1  In  1815,  the  outflow  to  North  America  stood  at  1889 
persons;  it  then  grew  annually  with  slight  fluctuations  until 
1852,  when  the  enormous  total  of  277,134  was  reached,  an  exodus 
which  is,  considering  the  volume  of  people  from  which  it  was 
drawn,2  probably  without  parallel  in  the  history  of  any  civilized 
country.  The  years  1846  to  1854,  inclusive,  were  remarkable 
for  their  high  rate  of  departures,  but,  after  1854,  a  sudden  and, 
with  some  fluctuations,  a  continued  shrinkage  took  place  until 
in  1 86 1  the  numbers  dropped  to  62,471,  the  smallest  emigration 
since  1844.  The  Crimean  War,  1854-1856,  and  the  Indian  Mu- 
tiny, 1857-1859,  which  caused  an  increased  demand  for  young 
men  in  the  army  and  navy,  were  largely  responsible  for  the 
falling  off  in  the  returns  of  this  period.  Between  1861  and  1869 
the  exodus  took  an  upward  tendency,  and,  in  this  latter  year, 
acute  distress  at  home  made  the  figures  rise  to  236,892,  and  they 
remained  somewhat  high  until  1873.  The  middle  seventies 
proved  a  period  of  diminished  emigration,  but  the  ebb  was 
soon  followed  by  a  copious  flow,  for,  in  the  year  1882,  the  impor- 
tant total  of  349,014  was  reached.  Recent  times  have  shown 
somewhat  high  figures;  in  fact,  for  every  year  since  1903,  with 
the  exception  of  1908,  an  exodus  to  North  America  of  over  three 
hundred  thousand  has  been  returned.  In  1910,  the  outward 
stream  numbered  499,669,  and,  in  1911,  464,330  souls. 

The  above  figures  require  some  qualification.  The  early  records 
refer  almost  entirely  to  men  and  women  of  British  nationality ; 
the  later  ones  speak  of  the  volume  of  traffic  as  carried  by  the 
Atlantic  transport  concerns  and  so  contain  an  important  foreign 
element.  It  is  thus  misleading  to  make  comparisons  without 
duly  allowing  for  this  change  in  the  composition  of  the  exodus. 
A  second  point  to  note  is  that,  at  the  present  time,  the  outward 
passengers  are  largely  counterbalanced  by  the  inward  passengers, 
but,  prior  to  the  sixties,  the  inward  passengers  were  few  compared 

1  Cf.  J.  D.  Rogers,  "Historical  Geography  of  Canada"  (Lucas),  p.  67. 

2  Census  of  1851.  England,  Wales,  Scotland,  and  Ireland;  population  given  as 


with  the  outward.  Thus,  net  emigration  to-day  is  found  by  sub- 
tracting the  incoming  from  the  outgoing  stream,  but  net  emi- 
gration until  about  the  year  1860  was  the  total  outflow  with 
few  or  no  deductions  whatever.  A  third  point  to  note  is  that  the 
total  population  of  the  three  kingdoms  has  grown  considerably 
since  the  year  1815 ;  it  is  thus  misleading  to  compare,  say,  the 
277,134  emigrants  of  the  year  1852  with  the  499,669  emigrants 
of  1910  without  taking  into  consideration  the  gross  populations 
of  these  two  years.  Certain  statistics  which  deal  with  this 
matter,  state  that  the  proportion  of  emigration  to  the  population 
was  0.84  per  cent  between  1853  and  1855,  but  only  0.39  per  cent 
in  the  period  1906-1910.  Thus  the  exodus  from  the  Mother 
Country  was,  in  reality,  more  remarkable  in  the  earlier  than  in 
the  later  period. 

Of  the  983,227  emigrants  who  left  the  United  Kingdom  for 
all  destinations,  prior  to  1840,  499,899,  or  more  than  half,  went 
to  British  North  America;  of  the  remainder,  417,765  went  to 
the  United  States,  and  58,449  to  the  Australian  Colonies,  includ- 
ing New  Zealand.  Since  1834,  however,  the  total  annual  migra- 
tion to  the  United  States  has  always  exceeded  that  proceeding 
to  Canada,  but  it  must  be  mentioned  that  when  British  emigrants 
as  distinct  from  all  emigrants  from  Britain  are  considered,  it 
will  be  found  that,  on  two  occasions  since  1880,  Canada  has 
welcomed  more  men  and  women  than  the  United  States.  This 
happened  in  the  last  two  years  of  the  period,  1910  and  1911. 

The  history  of  emigration  in  the  nineteenth  and  twentieth 
century  may  be  traced  from  the  Government  reports  and  papers 
which  have,  from  time  to  time,  been  published.  The  first  of  these 
documents,  which  was  devoted  solely  to  a  consideration  of  the 
present  subject,  was  the  report  of  the  Select  Committee  which 
sat  in  1826  to  consider  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom. 
From  this  report  we  learn  that  the  Government  first  gave  its 
serious  attention  to  the  matter  in  1820.  In  that  and  the  following 
years  many  debates  were  held  in  both  Houses  of  Parliament 
to  discuss  its  value  as  a  remedy  for  the  social  distress  which  then 
existed  in  the  home  country.1  As  a  result  of  these  debates,  the 
select  committees  of  1826  and  1827  were  appointed. 

1  Cf.  Hansard,  "Parliamentary  Debates,"  Vol.  XII,  p.  1358 ;  Vol.  XIV, p.  1360; 
Vol.  XVI,  pp.  142,  227,  475,  653. 


The  Committee  of  1826  reported  generally  on  the  evidence 
placed  before  it,  and  stated  that  there  was  a  greater  amount  of 
laboring  population  in  the  United  Kingdom  than  could  be 
profitably  employed,  and  that  the  British  Colonies  afforded  a 
field  where  the  excess  could  be  disposed  of  with  advantage.  The 
Committee  of  1827  entered  further  into  detail  and  pointed  out 
more  specifically  the  nature  and  extent  of  the  assistance  which 
it  would  recommend  to  be  given  to  emigration  from  national 
resources.  The  Bishop  of  Limerick,  who  appeared  before  the 
earlier  body,  said : 

The  evil  is  pressing  and  immediate.  It  calls,  therefore,  for  an 
immediate  remedy.  Take  any  system  of  home  relief,  it  must  be  grad- 
ual in  its  operation :  before  it  can  be  brought  to  bear,  the  present 
sufferers  will  have  died  off,  and  others  will  have  supplied  their  place, 
but  not  without  a  dreadful  course  of  intermediate  horrors.  Now, 
Emigration  is  an  instantaneous  relief,  it  is  what  bleeding  would  be  to 
an  apoplectic  patient.  The  sufferers  are  at  once  taken  away :  and, 
be  it  observed,  from  a  country  where  they  are  a  nuisance  and  a  pest, 
to  a  country  where  they  will  be  a  benefit  and  a  blessing.  Meantime, 
so  far  as  displaced  tenants  are  taken  away,  the  landlords,  aided  by 
existing  laws,  and  especially  by  the  Act  now  about  to  be  passed  (Sir 
Henry  ParnelPs  Act),  will  have  it  in  their  power  to  check  the  growth 
of  population,  somewhat  in  the  same  way  as,  after  removing  redundant 
blood,  a  skillful  physician  will  try  to  prevent  the  human  frame  from 
generating  more  than  what  is  requisite  for  a  healthful  state.1 

The  committee  called  a  considerable  number  of  witnesses  and 
repeatedly  put  the  following  question  to  those  giving  evidence : 

Were  the  Government  to  advance  an  indigent  man  his  passage 
money  and  provide  him  with  a  homestead,  could  he  be  expected  to 
repay  the  loan  at  the  rate  of  £5  per  annum,  commencing  after  his 
fifth  year  of  residence  ? 

Most  witnesses  replied  in  the  affirmative,  with  the  result 
that  the  committees  suggested  that  the  Treasury  should  advance 
a  sum  of  about  ten  thousand  pounds,  with  which  it  was  proposed 
to  form  a  loan  fund  for  emigrants.  The  essence  of  this  report 
is  contained  in  the  following  extract : 

Your  Committee  cannot  but  express  their  opinion  that  a  more 
effectual  remedy  than  any  temporary  palliative  is  to  be  found  in  the 
1  Page  142  of  first  Report. 


removal  of  that  excess  of  labor  by  which  the  condition  of  the  whole 
laboring  classes  is  deteriorated  and  degraded.  The  question  of 
emigration  from  Ireland  is  decided  by  the  population  itself,  and  that 
which  remains  for  the  Legislature  to  decide  is,  whether  it  shall  be 
turned  to  the  improvement  of  the  British  North  American  Colonies, 
or  whether  it  shall  be  suffered  and  encouraged  to  take  that  which 
will  be  and  is  its  inevitable  course,  to  deluge  Great  Britain  with  pov- 
erty and  wretchedness  and  gradually  but  certainly  to  equalize  the 
state  of  the  English  and  Irish  peasantry.  Two  different  rates  of  wages 
and  two  different  conditions  of  the  laboring  classes  cannot  perma- 
nently coexist.  One  of  two  results  appears  to  be  inevitable :  the  Irish 
population  must  be  raised  towards  the  standard  of  the  English  or 
the  English  depressed  towards  that  of  the  Irish.  The  question  whether 
an  extensive  plan  of  emigration  shall  or  shall  not  be  adopted  appears 
to  your  Committee  to  resolve  itself  into  the  simple  point  whether 
the  wheat-fed  population  of  Great  Britain  shall  or  shall  not  be  sup- 
planted by  the  potato-fed  population  of  Ireland  ? 

Resulting  from  the  advice  contained  in  this  report,  a  letter 
was  sent  to  Colonel  Cockburn  on  January  26th,  1827,  from  Down- 
ing Street,  stating  that  His  Majesty's  Government  required 
him  to  survey  three  hundred  thousand  acres  of  waste  land  in 
Nova  Scotia,  New  Brunswick,  and  Prince  Edward  Island,  and 
to  make  preparation  for  the  reception  of  about  ten  thousand 
souls.  He  was  to  proceed  to  these  places  without  delay,  to  confer 
with  the  lieutenant  governors  of  these  provinces,  to  inspect, 
personally,  the  land,  and,  above  all,  he  was  to  keep  in  mind  the 
advantage  to  be  derived  from  placing  new  settlements  as  near 
to  inhabited  parts  of  the  country  as  possible.  One  month's 
provisions  were  actually  to  be  stored  at  each  settlement  previous 
to  the  arrival  of  the  emigrants.  There  was  one  proviso  added 
to  these  plans.  All  was  to  be  ready,  were  the  assisted  people  to 
proceed,  but  should  their  exodus  be  deferred  or  abandoned, 
Colonel  Cockburn  was  to  cancel  his  arrangements. 

The  projects  were  abandoned,  and  Colonel  Cockburn  was 
called  upon  to  nullify  the  arrangements  on  which  he  had  spent 
so  much  labor.  The  reasons  for  this  change  of  policy  were 
threefold.  Suitable  land  could  not  be  found  of  the  requisite 
quantities  in  the  provinces  mentioned;  coin  of  the  realm  was 
so  scarce  that  it  was  felt  that  the  emigrants  would  not  be  able 
to  repay  their  indebtedness  with  anything  but  produce,  which 


the  Government  could  not  undertake  to  accept,  and,  finally, 
there  were  fears  that  a  man  might  leave  his  homestead  and  jour- 
ney into  the  United  States  and  so  shirk  his  liability. 

Although  the  loan  was  refused  by  the  Treasury  on  this  occasion, 
grants  in  aid  of  emigration  were  made  by  Parliament  in  iSig,1 
1821,  1823,  1825,  and  1827  amounting  to  £50,000,  £68,760, 
£15,000,  £30,000  and  £20,480  respectively.  In  1834,  an  Act 
was  passed  enabling  parishes  to  mortgage  their  rates  and  to 
spend  a  sum  not  exceeding  £10  a  head  on  emigration.  In  the 
same  year  emigration  agents  were  placed  at  various  ports  of  the 
United  Kingdom,  and  from  that  time  until  1878  sums  varying 
in  amount  up  to  £25,000  were  voted  annually  by  Parliament 
for  purposes  of  promoting  the  removal  of  indigent  people  from 
this  country.  The  money,  however,  was  mostly  spent  on  direct- 
ing the  flow  of  human  beings  to  Australia. 

In  1830,  a  searching  inquiry  into  the  state  of  the  Irish  Poor  was 
undertaken  by  the  House  of  Commons,  and  the  report,2  which 
was  subsequently  communicated  to  the  House  of  Lords,  said : 

Emigration,  as  a  remedial  measure,  is  more  applicable  to  Ireland 
than  to  any  other  part  of  the  Empire.  The  main  cause  which  pro- 
duces the  influx  of  Irish  laborers  into  Britain  is  undoubtedly  the 
higher  rate  of  wages  which  prevails  in  one  island  than  in  the  other. 
Emigration  from  Great  Britain,  if  effectual  as  a  remedy,  must  tend 
to  raise  the  rate  of  wages  in  the  latter  country,  and  thus  to  increase 
the  temptation  of  the  immigration  (i.e.  into  England  and  Scotland)  of 
the  Irish  laborer.  Colonization  from  Ireland,  on  the  contrary,  by  rais- 
ing the  rate  of  wages  in  the  latter  country,  diminishes  this  inducement 
and  lessens  the  number  of  Irish  laborers  in  the  British  market. 

From  about  the  year  1830,  the  views  put  forward  by  Mr. 
E.  G.  Wakefield  3  grew  in  popularity.  His  efforts  were  directed 
to  the  discovery  of  means  whereby  capital  and  labor  might  be 

1  Page  327  of  the  Report  on  Agricultural  Settlements  says  that  the  grant  of 
1819  does  not  seem  to  have  been  spent.   There  is,  however,  ample  evidence  to  show 
that  a  sum  of  £50,000  was  spent  on  the  Albany  settlers  in  the  year  in  question. 
Of  this  there  is  abundant  though  perhaps  not  official  testimony.  .Surely  this  ex- 
penditure is  the  grant  of  1819. 

2  Report  of  the  Committee  appointed  to  inquire  into  the  state  of  the  Poorer 
Classes  in  Ireland  and  the  best  means  of  improving  their  condition. 

3  Vide  "The  Art  of  Colonization." 


introduced  into  a  colony  in  such  a  manner  and  in  such  propor- 
tions as  to  lead  to  its  more  stable  development.  He  disapproved 
not  only  of  the  form  of  emigration  which  was  then  in  vogue,  but 
also  of  the  system  of  making  free  grants  of  colonial  lands.  Land, 
he  held,  should  not  be  given  gratuitously,  but  should  be  sold 
and  the  proceeds  used  in  conveying  other  emigrants  to  the  colony. 
The  basis  of  all  successful  colonization,  he  once  wrote,1  lies  in 
keeping  a  certain  ratio  between  the  amount  of  alienated  land 
and  the  amount  of  labor  available  in  any  colony.  If  land  be 
given  away  lavishly,  the  ratio  immediately  breaks  down,  for 
laborers  speedily  become  landowners  and  capitalists  suffer 
from  an  urgent  want  of  labor.  When,  however,  tracts  are 
sold  and  the  money  so  obtained  is  used  in  conveying  further 
batches  of  emigrants  to  the  colony,  the  ratio  holds  good,  for  the 
more  the  sales,  the  more  the  labor  which  can  be  introduced  by 
the  proceeds  of  the  sales  and  the  more  the  labor  which  can  find 
remunerative  employment.  Obviously,  his  system  demanded 
that  the  selling  price  of  real  property  should  be  carefully  adjusted, 
from  time  to  time,  with  the  amount  of  available  labor. 

The  views  of  Wakefield  were  carried  out  in  a  few  of  the  settle- 
ments of  the  Australian  Colonies,  and  some  effect  was  given  to 
them  by  the  South  Australian  Act  and  the  Australian  Land  Act 
of  1842.  But  Gibbon  Wakefield  did  more  than  theorize  on  ques- 
tions affecting  real  property.  Before  he  studied  the  question  of 
emigration,  people  had  looked  upon  life  in  the  colonies  as  socially 
degrading,  and  having  much  in  common  with  penal  transporta- 
tion, but  with  the  spreading  of  his  teachings  they  grew  to  consider 
it  a  means  whereby  individuals  might  improve  their  position 
as  well  as  a  factor  which  would  strengthen  the  Empire  by  the 
foundation  of  overseas  dominions.2 

In  1831,  a  Government  commission  on  Emigration  was  formed 
and,  in  the  same  year,  the  commissioners  reported  that  from  an 
annual  average  of  about  nine  thousand  during  the  first  ten  years 
after  the  Peace,  the  inflow  to  Canada  had  increased  in  the  five 
years  ending  with  1831  to  an  annual  average  of  more  than  twenty 
thousand,  also  that  these  great  multitudes  of  people  had  mostly 

1  In  "The  Art  of  Colonization." 

2  Report  of  the  Committee  on  Agricultural  Settlements  in  British  Colonies, 
Vol.  I,  1906,  p.  2. 


gone  out  by  their  own  means  and  disposed  of  themselves  through 
their  own  efforts  without  any  serious  or  lasting  inconvenience. 
The  commissioners  did  not  propose,  therefore,  to  interfere 
by  a  direct  grant  of  money  with  a  practice  which  appeared  to 
thrive  so  well  spontaneously.  They  recognized,  probably,  how 
vast  an  outlay  would  be  necessary  to  carry  on  the  business  to  a 
corresponding  extent  through  public  funds,  while  it  must  always 
have  remained  to  be  seen  whether  any  immediate  interposition 
of  the  Government  could  have  provided  for  such  multifarious 
bodies  so  well  as  individual  judgment  and  energy,  stimulated  by 
the  sense  of  self-dependence. 

The  commissioners,  therefore,  contented  themselves,  in  regard 
to  the  North  American  Colonies,  with  collecting,  publishing,  and 
diffusing,  as  widely  as  possible,  correct  accounts  of  prices  and 
wages,  and  with  pointing  out  the  impositions  against  which  emi- 
grants should  be  most  on  their  guard.  This  body  was  dissolved, 
however,  in  1832  and  the  practical  working  of  its  recommenda- 
tions entrusted  to  the  Colonial  Department.1 

In  1838,  Lord  Durham  held  an  inquiry  into  the  unrest  then 
existing  in  Upper  and  Lower  Canada ;  his  observations,  together 
with  the  views  of  Gibbon  Wakefield  and  Charles  Buller,2  appeared 
as  a  Blue  Book  in  January,  1839.  After  discussing  the  differences 
which  gave  rise  to  friction  between  the  French  and  British  in- 
habitants, the  report  dealt  somewhat  fully  with  the  evils  encom- 
passing the  lot  of  the  emigrant,  the  want  of  administration  which 
characterized  the  action  of  the  Colonial  authorities,  and  the 
unsatisfactory  systems  then  in  vogue  of  granting  land.  Durham 
advised  that  self-government  should  be  given  to  Canada,  but, 
in  addition  to  this  important  recommendation,  suggested  that 
emigration  to  these  areas  should  be  made  more  attractive,3  that 
the  lands  should  be  efficiently  surveyed,  and  that  a  judicious 
system  of  colonization  should  be  introduced. 

1  Report  to  the  Secretary  of  State  for  the  Colonies  from  the  Agent-General  for 
Emigration,  April  28,  1838,  No.  388,  p.  3. 

2  Vide  Sir  Charles  Lucas  — Lord  Durham's  Report,  Vol.  Ill,  p.  336,  etc.,  and 
especially  page  351,  for  account  of  Durham's  mission. 

1  "All  the  gentlemen  whose  evidence  I  have  last  quoted  are  warm  advocates 
of  systematic  emigration.  I  object,  along  with  them,  only  to  such  emigration  as 
now  takes  place  without  forethought,  preparation,  method,  or  system  of  any  kind." 
—  Lord  Durham's  Report  on  the  Affairs  of  British  North  America,  Vol.  I,  p.  189. 


Buller  complained  that  though  emigration  to  Canada  was 
more  or  less  unsatisfactory  yet  people  were  content  to  allow  the 
system  to  continue  unchallenged.  "This  misconception  is  un- 
doubtedly attributable,  in  a  great  degree,"  he  said,  "to  the  cir- 
cumstance that  all  evidence  obtained  on  the  subject  was  collected 
in  the  country  from  which  the  emigrants  departed,  instead  of 
that  at  which  they  arrived.  Had  the  position  of  the  inquiries 
been  reversed,  they  must  have  arrived  at  very  different  conclu- 
sions, and  have  discovered  that  no  emigration  so  imperatively 
demanded  the  regulating  interposition  of  the  Legislature  as  that 
for  which  they  specially  refused  to  provide."  x  Buller  then  went 
on  to  point  out  the  trials  which  beset  the  emigrant  on  landing 
in  Canada.2  It  was  the  duty  of  the  Government,  he  affirmed, 
to  organize  the  outflow  to  North  America  just  as  much  as  that 
to  Australia.  There  may  be  a  difference  in  the  character  and 
circumstances  of  the  movement  to  the  two  regions,  he  argued, 
but  none  so  great  as  to  free  the  former  from  all  interference, 
while  the  latter  was  to  a  great  extent  officially  regulated. 

Buller  summarized  his  views  as  follows  : 3 

The  measures  which  Government  have  adopted  are  deplorably 
defective.  They  have  left  untouched  some  of  the  chief  evils  of  emi- 
gration, and  have  very  incompletely  remedied  those  even  against 
which  they  were  specially  directed.  Although  the  safeguards  for 
the  emigrant  during  the  passage  are  increased,  and,  in  many  places, 
enforced,  yet  there  is  still  no  check  of  any  sort  whatever  over  a  large 
proportion  of  the  emigrant  vessels.4  The  provisions  for  the  reception 
of  emigrants  at  Quebec,  so  far  as  the  Government  is  concerned,  are 
of  the  most  inefficient  and  unsatisfactory  character :  and  the  poorer 
classes  would  have  to  find  their  way  as  they  best  might  to  the  Upper 
Provinces,  or  to  the  United  States,  were  it  not  for  the  operation  of 
societies  whose  main  object  is  not  the  advantage  of  emigrants,  but 
to  free  the  cities  of  Quebec  and  Montreal  from  the  intolerable  nuisance 
of  a  crowd  of  unemployed,  miserable,  and,  too  often,  diseased  per- 
sons. The  Government  agent  at  Quebec  has  no  power ;  he  has  not 
even  any  rules  for  his  guidance.  At  Montreal  there  has  not  been  any 
agent  for  the  last  two  years.  The  whole  extent,  therefore,  of  the 

1  Report,  p.  225. 

2  Vide  Chapter  VII.    "The  Reception  of  Immigrants." 

3  Report,  p.  227. 

4  I.e.  those  carrying  fewer  passengers  than  constitute  an  emigrants'  ship. 


Government  interference  has  been  to  establish  in  England  agents  to 
superintend  the  enforcement  of  the  provisions  of  the  Passengers' 
Acts,  in  respect  of  the  emigrants  from  some  ports,  and  to  maintain 
an  agent  in  -the  Province  of  Lower  Canada  to  observe  rather  than 
regulate  the  emigration  into  that  province. 

I  would  recommend,  therefore,  that  a  specified  portion  of  the  prod- 
uce of  the  wild-land  tax  and  of  the  future  sales  of  land  and  timber 
should  be  applied  in  providing  for  emigration :  a  part  in  furnishing 
free  passage  to  emigrants  of  the  most  desirable  age,  as  far  as  may  be 
of  both  sexes  in  equal  numbers,  and  part  in  defraying  any  expenses 
occasioned  by  the  superintendence  of  the  emigration  of  those  to  whom, 
in  conformity  with  this  rule,  or  from  other  circumstances,  a  free  pas- 
sage cannot  be  offered. 

The  whole  emigration  from  the  United  Kingdom  should  be  so 
far  placed  under  the  superintendence  of  Government  that  emigrants 
conveyed  at  the  public  expense  should  necessarily  proceed  in  vessels 
chartered  and  regulated  by  the  Government,  and  that  all  persons 
willing  to  pay  for  their  own  passage  should  be  entitled  to  proceed  in 
vessels  so  chartered  and  regulated  at  a  cost  for  the  passage  not  exceed- 
ing the  charge  in  private  vessels.  Proper  means  of  shelter  and  trans- 
port should  be  provided  at  the  different  ports  in  the  Colonies  to  which 
emigrants  proceed ;  and  they  should  be  forwarded  to  the  place  where 
they  can  obtain  employment  under  the  direction  of  responsible  agents 
acting  under  central  authority. 

When,  in  1845,  the  Great  Famine  overtook  Ireland  with  such 
disastrous  results,  a  Select  Committee  was  appointed  to  consider 
the  means  by  which  colonization  might  be  employed  to  alleviate 
the  sufferings  which  were  then  existing  in  that  country.  After 
examining  the  causes  which  had  brought  about  the  crisis,  the 
Committee  directed  its  attentions  to  an  inquiry  into  the  follow- 
ing matters : 

1.  The  capacity  which  certain  Colonies  possessed  for  absorbing 
European  labor. 

2.  The  extent  to  which  a  supply  of  labour  might  be  safely  intro- 
duced into  the  various  Colonies. 

3.  -The  effect  of  an  increased   supply  of   emigrant  labor  on  the 
productiveness  and  value  of  Colonial  land. 

4.  The  effect  which  colonization  would  probably  produce  on  the 
investment  of  British  capital  within  the  colony  to  which  such  coloni- 
zation might  be  directed. 


5.  The  effect  which  might  be  anticipated  by  the  promotion  or 
encouragement  of  works  of  undisputed  usefulness,  such  as  the  rail- 
roads projected  in  British  North  America. 

6.  The  effect  of  an  augmented  population  in  the  British  Colonies, 
not  only  in  increasing  their  wealth,  their  agricultural,  mineral,  and 
commercial  resources,  but  in  adding  to  their  strength  and  means  of 
defense  and  thus  consolidating  and  securing  the  power  of  the  Empire. 

Unfortunately,  little  or  no  good  came  of  the  inquiry.  Char- 
itable societies  continued  to  do  their  utmost  to  alleviate  the 
sufferings  of  the  afflicted  people,  but  governmental  action  was 
in  no  wise  accelerated  as  a  result  of  the  inquiry. 

In  consequence  of  the  representations  made  by  Lord  Dur- 
ham, the  Colonial  Land  and  Emigration  Department  was 
founded  in  1840.  The  principal  functions  of  this  body  were  to 
collect  and  diffuse  statistical  information  pertaining  to  the 
Colonies,  to  effect  sales  of  colonial  lands  in  Australia,  to  promote 
by  the  proceeds  of  such  sales  emigration  to  the  Colonies  in  which 
the  sales  had  occurred,  to  superintend,  generally,  all  emigration 
movements  connected  with  this  country  and  its  dependencies, 
and,  lastly,  to  carry  into  execution  the  Passengers'  Acts.1 

The  operations  of  the  board  were  fluctuating,  but  between 
1847  and  1869  they  sent  out  339,338  emigrants  at  a  cost  of 
£4,864,000  of  which  £532,000  was  provided  by  those  taking 
part  in  the  exodus  or  their  friends,  and  the  rest  by  colonial  funds. 
The  arrangements  were  mostly  concerned  with  Australia. 

In  their  thirty-third  report,  under  the  date  of  April  3oth, 
1873,  the  Chief  Commissioner  wrote : 

My  Lord,  We  have  the  honor  to  submit  to  your  Lordship  our 
Report  on  Emigration  for  the  year  1872.  As  the  administration  of 
the  Passengers'  Act  has  been  intrusted  by  the  Act  of  last  session 
(35  and  36  Viet.  c.  73)  to  the  Board  of  Trade,  this  is  the  last  report 

1  Lord  John  Russell's  instructions  to  the  Emigration  Commissioners,  January 
I4th,  1840  (Government  paper,  No.  35) : 

"In  your  capacity  of  a  General  Board  for  the  sale  of  lands  and  for  promoting 
emigration,  your  duties  may  be  conveniently  arranged  under  the  four  following 
heads.  First,  the  collection  and  diffusion  of  accurate  statistical  knowledge;  sec- 
ondly, the  sale  in  this  country  of  waste  lands  in  the  colonies ;  thirdly,  the  applica- 
tion of  the  proceeds  of  such  sales  towards  the  removal  of  emigrants ;  and,  fourthly, 
the  rendering  of  periodical  accounts,  both  pecuniary  and  statistical,  of  your  adminis- 
tration of  this  trust." 


we  shall  have  to  make  to  the  Secretary  of  State  on  emigration  from 
this  country. 

Other  functions  which  they  performed  had  been  gradually 
taken  from  them  as  the  Colonies,  one  by  one,  became  self- 
governing.  After  the  Act  of  1872  their  sole  duties  consisted  in 
controlling  the  movement  of  coolie  labor,  and,  when  each 
commissioner  retired,  his  post  was  allowed  to  lapse.  The  last 
commissioner  withdrew  in  1878.  Between  1873  an<^  I^77  a 
Colonization  Circular  was  published  annually. 

In  1880,  the  Canadian  authorities  approached  the  Home 
Government  with  a  colonization  scheme  by  which  the  latter 
should  advance  moneys,  about  £80  per  family,  for  meeting 
expenses  incurred  in  transporting  and  settling  poor  families  from 
Ireland  on  plots  situated  in  the  Northwest  Provinces.  The 
Canadian  Government  was  to  give  each  settler  160  acres  of  land, 
upon  which  the  advance  was  to  be  secured  by  a  first  charge,  but 
they  were  to  undertake  no  guarantee  for  the  repayment  of  such 
advance.  It  was  intended  to  carry  out  the  scheme  through  a 
commission  or  association.  These  proposals  were  submitted  to 
the  Irish  authorities,  who  took  no  action  in  the  matter.1  The 
reasons  for  allowing  the  proposal  to  lapse  were  never  definitely 
stated,  but  it  may  be  conjectured  that  the  home  authorities  were 
dissatisfied,  first,  with  the  guarantees,  and,  secondly,  with  the 
refusal  of  the  Canadian  officials  to  undertake  the  task  of  collect- 
ing the  repayments. 

In  1883,  the  Northwest  Land  Company  of  Canada  empow- 
ered Sir  George  Stephen  to  place  another  proposal  before  the 
Imperial  Parliament.  The  basis  of  this  scheme  was  as  follows : 
the  Government  was  to  lend  the  company  a  million  pounds  for 
ten  years,  free  of  interest,  and  in  consideration  of  this  loan  the 
company  would  undertake  to  remove  ten  thousand  families, 
say  fifty  thousand  people,  from  the  west  of  Ireland  and  settle 
them  in  the  northwest  of  Canada. 

In  the  ordinary  way  the  Canadian  Government  was  prepared 
to  give  each  head  of  a  family  160  acres  of  land,  and  the  company 
proposed  to  supply  him  with  a  house,  a  cow,  implements,  and 
everything  necessary  to  insure  a  fair  start,  even  to  providing 
sufficient  plowing  and  seeding  for  the  first  year's  crop.  The 
1  Report  on  Colonization,  1891,  Appendix,  p.  45,  par.  i. 


company  also  agreed  to  meet  all  expenditure  incidental  to  the 
removal  and  settlement  of  the  emigrants.  It  was  thus  submitted 
that  the  cost  to  the  Home  Government  would  only  be  the  interest 
on  £100  for  ten  years,  say,  at  the  rate  of  2-J  per  cent,  £25  per 
family.  The  emigrants  themselves,  however,  were  to  be  called 
upon  to  pay  certain  moderate  charges  to  the  company.  This 
scheme  received  the  warm  support  of  the  Colonial  Office  and  the 
Irish  Government,  though  the  latter  made  two  requests  which 
were  approved  by  the  Treasury,  viz.  (a)  that  the  emigrants 
should  be  drawn  in  entire  families  from  the  congested  districts 
only,  and  (b)  that  the  holding  of  each  emigrating  family  should 
be  consolidated  with  a  neighboring  holding. 

The  proposal,  it  must  be  added,  was  abandoned  because  the 
Treasury  thought  it  necessary  to  stipulate  that  the  Dominion 
Government  should  make  itself  responsible  for  recovering  the 
advances  from  the  settlers,  both  principal  and  interest,  a  burden 
which  the  Canadian  authorities  declined  to  undertake  on  polit- 
ical grounds.1  Other  schemes  of  emigration  were  suggested  from 
time  to  time,  but  all  suffered  rejection,  as  the  Home  Govern- 
ment was  temporarily  averse  to  considering  any  which  returned 
less  than  3^-  per  cent  interest  on  the  capital  involved,  and  in 
which  they  were  not  relieved  of  all  financial  liability. 

The  prolonged  depression  amongst  the  working  classes  which 
lasted  between  1884  and  1886,  however,  forced  the  Government 
to  change  its  views,  and  Mr.  Rathbone  2  wrote : 3 

In  the  autumn  of  1887  Lord  Lothian  asked  the  land  companies 
if  they  would  renew  their  proposals;  but  they  declined  to  do  so, 
stating  that  the  circumstances  had  altered  (though  in  what  way  did 
not  appear)  and  the  scheme  which  was  eventually  agreed  upon  was 
far  less  favorable  to  the  Government,  in  that  there  was  no  guarantee 
by  the  companies  for  repayment  even  of  the  capital. 

The  scheme  to  which  Mr.  Rathbone  referred  was  the  Crofters' 
Colonization  Scheme  of  1888  and  1889. 

As  a  result  of  numerous  representations  made  to  the  Gov- 
ernment by  philanthropists  who  viewed  emigration  with  favor, 
the  Emigrants'  Information  Office  was  opened  in  October,  1886. 

1  Report  on  Colonization,  1891,  Appendix,  p.  45,  par.  2. 

2  A  member  of  the  Colonization  Committee  of  1891. 

3  Report  on  Colonization,  1891,  Appendix,  p.  46,  par.  3. 


From  its  inception  this  Institution  has  been  placed  under  the 
control  of  the  Colonial  Office.  It  is  subsidized  by  Government 
but  managed  by  a  voluntary  unpaid  committee.1  The  committee 
included  members  of  parliament,  philanthropists,  and  repre- 
sentatives of  the  working  classes.  The  Secretary  of  State  for 
the  Colonies  is  nominally  President  of  the  committee,  but  does 
not  actually  preside.  He  nominates  the  members  of  the  commit- 
tee, and  all  points  on  which  any  serious  doubt  arises  are  referred 
for  his  decision,  but  the  expenditure  of  the  Parliamentary  grant 
and  the  management  and  working  of  the  office  are  left  to  the 
discretion  of  the  committee. 

The  Government  at  the  outset  allowed  an  annual  sum  of  £650 
to  cover  rent  of  rooms  and  all  office  expenses,  in  addition  to  free 
printing  and  postage.  After  the  report  of  the  Colonization  Com- 
mittee in  1891  the  sum  was  raised  to  £1000  and  the  grant  became 
subsequently  increased  to  £1500. 

Originally  the  scope  of  the  office  was  confined  to  the  British 
Colonies  and  to  those  Colonies,  only,  which  are  outside  the  tropics, 
and  are  thus  fields  of  emigration  in  the  ordinary  sense.  It  was 
found  necessary,  however,  to  widen  its  sphere  and  to  give  in- 
formation —  though  more  limited  in  extent  —  not  only  as  to 
certain  tropical  colonies,  but  also,  from  time  to  time,  concerning 
various  foreign  countries ;  and  especially  it  has  been  found  neces- 
sary to  issue  warnings  in  cases  where,  as,  for  example,  in  the  case 
of  Brazil,  it  has  seemed  desirable  to  discourage  emigration  from 
the  Mother  Country. 

In  regard  to  foreign  countries,  the  committee  derives  its 
information  almost  entirely  through  the  Foreign  Office  and  His 
Majesty's  representatives  abroad.  In  regard  to  the  British 
Colonies,  information  is  supplied  partly  by  official,  partly  by 
unofficial  sources. 

In  June  and  July  of  the  year  1889  a  Select  Committee  of  the 
House  of  Commons  sat  to  "  inquire  into  various  schemes  which 
have  been  proposed  to  Her  Majesty's  Government  in  order  to 
facilitate  emigration  from  the  congested  districts  of  the  United 
Kingdom  to  the  British  Colonies  or  elsewhere ;  to  examine  into 
the  results  of  any  schemes  which  have  received  practical  trial 
in  recent  years ;  and  to  report  generally  whether,  in  their  opinion, 

1  The  Chairman,  who  is  a  member  of  the  Colonial  Office,  is  paid. 


it  is  desirable  that  further  facilities  should  be  given  to  promote 
emigration;  and,  if  so,  upon  the  means  by  and  the  conditions 
under  which  such  emigration  can  best  be  carried  out,  and  the 
quarters  to  which  it  can  most  advantageously  be  directed."1 
After  having  examined  nine  witnesses  the  following  interim  report 
was  issued  towards  the  end  of  the  month  of  July : 

Your  Committee  are  of  opinion  that  at  this  late  period  of  the 
Session  it  will  not  be  in  their  power  to  conclude  their  investigations ; 
they  have  therefore  agreed  to  report  the  evidence,  already  taken,  to 
the  House,  and  to  recommend  that  a  committee  on  the  same  subject 
should  be  appointed  early  in  the  next  Session  of  Parliament.2 

The  committee  again  sat  in  1890,  and  for  a  third  time  in  1891. 
It  was  in  the  latter  year  that  the  following  summary  of  their 
conclusions  was  issued : 

1.  Your  Committee  have  no    grounds    for    thinking  that  the 
present  condition  of  the  United  Kingdom  generally  calls  for  any 
general  scheme  of  state-organized  colonization  or  emigration. 

2.  The   powers   in   possession    of   local    authorities    should   be 
sufficient  to  enable  them,  at  no  onerous  risk,  to  assist  in  the  coloni- 
zation or  emigration  of  persons  or  families  from  their  own  localities. 

3.  The    congested    districts  of  Ireland    and  of    the  Highlands 
and  Islands  of  Scotland  form  an  exceptional  case  and  require  relief 
by  assistance  to  industries,  to  colonization  or  emigration,  and,  where 
suitable,  to  migration. 

4.  The  provisions  proposed  in  the  Land  and  Congested  Districts 
(Ireland)  Bill  are  ample  for  these  purposes. 

5.  Provisions  similar  to  some  of  the  foregoing  should  be  made 
for  the  Crofter  districts  of  Scotland. 

6.  The    Colonization    Board    be    continued  and    reconstructed 
for  the  purpose  of  colonization  and  emigration  from  such  districts. 

7.  The  power  of  enlarging  Crofters'  holdings  in  that  Act  should 
be  kept  alive. 

8.  Crofts  vacated  by  emigration  or  migration  should  be  added 
to  existing  holdings  without  power  of  subdivision. 

9.  The  experiment  of  colonizing  the  Crofter  population  in  Can- 
ada should  be  further  tried. 

10.  The  proposals  of  the  Government  of  British  Columbia3 
should  be  favorably  entertained. 

1  Report  on  Colonization,  1889,  p.  in.  2 Ibid. 

3  These  proposals  fell  through  as  the  Governments  failed  to  agree  on  matters 
of  finance. 


11.  The  agency  of  companies    for    colonization  and    emigration 
should  be  taken  advantage  of,  both  as  regards  the  aforesaid  coloniza- 
tion in  Canada  and  elsewhere. 

12.  The    Government   grant    to    the    Emigrants'    Information 
Office  should  be  increased.1 

As  a  result  of  this  report,  further  governmental  schemes  were 
dropped,  but  the  grant  awarded  annually  to  the  Emigrants' 
Information  Office  was  augmented.  From  1891  to  1905  no  action 
seems  to  have  been  taken,  but,  in  the  latter  year,  the  Unemployed 
Workmen  Act,  which  contained  clauses  facilitating  the  trans- 
ference of  needy  workpeople,  was  passed.2  In  the  following  year, 
Sir  Rider  Haggard  made  certain  suggestions  for  a  colonization 
scheme,  which  may  be  briefly  summarized  as  follows.  The 
authorities  at  home  were  to  advance  to  the  Salvation  Army,  or 
a  similar  body,  a  sum  of  money  roughly  equaling  thirty  thousand 
pounds,  and  in  return  the  institution  was  to  collect  a  vast  num- 
ber of  distressed  town-bred  families  and  install  them  on  farm 
plots  in  Canada.  A  departmental  committee  was  appointed  to 
give  consideration  to  the  suggestions,  but  this  body  reported 
unfavorably  and  the  scheme  was  not  attempted.3  Since  1906 
the  inactivity  of  the  central  authorities  has  been  continued,  but 
a  great  expansion  in  the  working  of  charitable  institutions  has 
marked  the  period.  To-day  there  are  considerably  more  than 
a  hundred  societies  engaged  in  the  emigration  movement ;  some 
give  their  services  in  a  general  way,  others  confine  their  opera- 
tions to  people  of  certain  religious  denominations  or  to  dwellers 
in  particular  localities,  whilst  others  again  deal  only  with  women 
or  children.  The  majority  give  financial  assistance  in  deserving 
cases,  though  certain  of  them  are  organized  merely  to  provide 
information,  guidance,  and  protection.  As  a  general  rule,  the 
societies  are  doing  valuable  work  by  sending  to  the  various 
colonies  able-bodied  people  who  could  not  otherwise  join  in 
the  exodus. 

1  Report  on  Colonization,  1891,  p.  xvi. 

2  "The  Central  Body  may,  if  they  think  fit,  in  any  case  of  an  unemployed  person 
referred  to  them  by  a  distress  committee,  assist  that  person  by  aiding  the  emigra- 
tion or  removal  to  another  area  of  that  person  and  any  of  his  dependents."  —  5 
Ed.  7,  ch.  18,  sec.  5. 

3  Cf .  "  Colonization  Schemes,"  Chapter  X,  p.  244. 


In  bygone  years,  certain  of  the  less  responsible  organizations 
made  emigration  a  vehicle  for  transferring  "  undesirables "  from 
the  Mother  Country  to  the  Colonies.  As  no  such  practices  have 
been  attempted  for  many  years  past,  it  is  somewhat  discouraging 
to  note  the  attitude  with  which  a  few  of  the  Colonial  Governments 
still  approach  the  home  societies  as  a  body.  Everything  which 
can  be  done  to  eliminate  the  unfit  from  the  fit  is  now  performed 
by  the  societies,  and  none  but  those  who  can  undergo  a  severe 
and  searching  test  are  permitted  to  proceed.  In  many  cases, 
farm  colonies  have  been  instituted  within  the  United  Kingdom 
and  prospective  settlers  are  required  to  give  practical  demon- 
strations of  their  fitness  at  one  or  other  of  them  before  they  are 
passed  as  suitable.  Not  only  do  the  societies  themselves  require 
their  candidates  to  pass  a  very  severe  test,  but  the  officials 
attached  to  the  staffs  of  the  various  High  Commissioners  and 
Agents-General  institute  searching  inquiries  also.  Authentic 
figures  are  available  to  prove  that,  of  the  people  befriended  by 
the  East  End  Emigration  Fund,  less  than  5  per  cent  turn  out 
failures,  only  5  per  cent  fail  from  the  Church  Emigration  Society, 
never  more  than  4  per  cent  annually  from  the  South  African 
Colonisation  Society,  less  than  2  per  cent  from  Dr.  Barnardo's 
Homes,  whilst  other  societies  can  show  equally  satisfactory 
records.1  In  spite  of  this  complex  system  of  selection  and  these 
reassuring  figures,  there  are  still  people,  living  in  the  colonies, 
who  condemn  the  work  of  the  societies  in  general.  A  writer 
living  at  Hamilton,  Ontario,  says : 2 

At  present,  among  the  great  stream  of  English  people  whom  your 
agencies  are  sending  to  us,  are  many  who  are  the  scourings  from  Lon- 
don streets  —  the  hangers-on  to  Church  charitable  organizations  — 
the  type  of  men  who  demand  work,  but  that  is  the  last  thing  they 
really  desire. 

It  will  be  noticed  that  in  this  quotation  not  one  shred  of  evi- 
dence is  given  to  support  the  serious  allegations  made,  nor  does 
the  writer  seem  to  be  aware  that  no  man  who  was  work-shy 
and  studied  his  comforts  would  leave  London  for  Hamilton; 

1  Official  Report  of  the  Emigration  Conference  convened  by  the  Royal  Colonial 
Institute,  1910,  pp.  33,  37,  39,  43,  etc. 

3  Quoted  from  The  Times  of  May  3oth,  1910. 


also,  it  may  be  pointed  out  that  such  statements  not  only  condemn 
the  operations  of  our  home  organizations,  but  they  presuppose 
a  want  of  confidence  in  the  colonial  emigration  commissioners 
as  well. 

Within  recent  years  public  opinion  has  gradually  grown  to 
view  with  considerable  disfavor  any  form  of  British  emigration 
proceeding  to  foreign  countries.  In  1907,  the  Imperial  Confer- 
ence gave  expression  to  this  feeling  by  passing  the  following 
resolution : 

That  it  is  desirable  to  encourage  British  emigrants  to  proceed  to 
British  Colonies  rather  than  foreign  countries:  that  the  Imperial 
Government  be  requested  to  cooperate  with  any  Colonies  desiring 
immigrants  in  assisting  suitable  persons  to  emigrate :  that  the  Secre- 
tary of  State  for  the  Colonies  be  requested  to  nominate  representa- 
tives of  the  Dominions  to  the  committee  of  the  Emigrants'  Infor- 
mation Office. 

In  1908,  the  question  of  emigration  was  discussed  by  the  Poor 
Law  Commission.  Unfortunately,  the  ground  necessarily  covered 
by  this  inquiry  was  so  extensive  that  little  time  could  be  spared 
for  an  adequate  consideration  of  the  factors  governing  the  na- 
tional exodus.  The  Majority  Report  of  this  Commission  spoke 
of  the  value  of  emigration  when  supplemented  with  other  reforms, 
but  gave  no  hint  as  to  the  ways  and  means  of  organizing  such 
a  movement.  The  Minority  Report  was  more  informing.  What- 
ever provisions  are  made  for  minimizing  unemployment,  it 
affirmed,  there  will  always  be  a  residuum  of  men  and  women 
who  will  be  in  want  of  work ;  for  them,  an  emigration  and  immi- 
gration division  will  prove  valuable.  This  division,  it  suggested, 
should  develop  the  office  now  maintained  by  the  Secretary  of 
State  for  the  Colonies  in  close  communication  with  the  responsible 
governments  of  other  parts  of  the  Empire.  A  Minister  of  Labor 
would  direct  this  office,  and  his  duties  would  include  not  only 
the  control  of  aided  but  non-aided  emigrants  as  well.  So  far 
as  they  go,  the  suggestions  made  by  the  Minority  Commissioners 
are  valuable,  but,  from  such  an  authoritative  body,  a  complete 
sketch  of  the  machinery  required  to  control  both  the  emigration 
from  home  and  the  immigration  to  the  Colonies  would  have 
proved  welcome. 


Finally,  the  subject  of  emigration  was  considered  by  the  recent 
Imperial  Conference  of  1911.  Mr.  Burns,  as  President  of  the 
Local  Government  Board,  said  that  since  the  last  Conference 
the  object  of  the  resolution  passed  in  1907  had  been,  to  a  great 
extent,  secured.  In  1906,  the  total  number  of  emigrants  from 
the  Mother  Country  was  194,671,  of  whom  the  different  parts 
of  the  Empire  took  105,178  or  54  per  cent.  In  1910,  the  num- 
bers were  233,944  and  159,000  respectively,  showing  68  per  cent 
to  the  Empire.  For  the  first  four  months  of  the  year  1911  there 
was  an  increase  over  the  corresponding  period  of  1910  of  23,000 
or  29  per  cent,  and  the  Empire  had  taken  the  whole  of  that  in- 
crease. Australia  and  New  Zealand  had  received  ten  thousand 
more  people  in  the  first  four  months  of  1911  than  in  the  similar 
period  of  1910,  or  133  per  cent  increase.  If  the  rate  of  increase 
for  the  first  four  months  were  continued  for  the  whole  of  1911, 
the  total  emigrants  for  Great  Britain  to  all  countries  would 
amount,  he  said,  to  three  hundred  thousand,  of  whom,  it  was 
estimated,  230,000,  or  nearly  80  per  cent,  would  go  to  different 
parts  of  the  Empire,  a  generous  contribution  in  quantity  and 
quality  from  the  Mother  Country.  In  1900,  the  percentage 
absorbed  by  the  Empire  of  the  total  emigration  from  the  United 
Kingdom  was  only  33  per  cent.  The  increase  from  33  per  cent  to 
80  per  cent  was  a  justification  of  the  excellent  and  increasing 
work  in  the  right  direction  carried  on  by  the  now  admirably 
organized  Emigrants'  Information  Office  at  home.  Moreover, 
it  was  generally  admitted  that  the  quality  of  the  emigrants 
had  also  improved.  The  total  estimated  emigration  of  300,000 
for  1911  represented  60  per  cent  of  the  natural  increase  of  the 
population  of  the  United  Kingdom  as  compared  with  48  per  cent 
in  1910  and  50  per  cent  in  1907.  But  for  the  saving  in  life  repre- 
sented by  a  lower  death  rate,  and  a  much  lower  infant  mortality, 
this  emigration  would  be  a  very  heavy  drain  on  the  United  King- 
dom. In  ten  years  Scotland  and  Ireland  combined  had  increased 
their  population  by  210,000,  or  less  than  "the  total  emigration 
from  Great  Britain  for  the  one  year  1910.  With  a  diminishing 
birth  rate  the  Mother  Country  could  not  safely  go  beyond  300,000 
a  year,  and  if  80  per  cent  of  these  went  to  different  parts  of  the 
Empire,  the  Conference  would  probably  agree  that  this  was  as 
much  as  they  could  reasonably  require.  The  Dominions  were 


entitled  to  have  the  surplus,  but  they  must  not  diminish  the 
seed  plot.  They  could  absorb  the  overflow,  but  they  must  not 
empty  the  tank. 

In  reviewing  emigration  generally,  Mr.  Burns  said  that  the 
business  of  the  Emigrants'  Information  Office  had  more  than 
doubled  since  1907,  and  that  its  machinery  was  being  kept  up 
to  modern  requirements.  Over  organization,  or  attempts  to  do 
more  than  was  now  being  done,  would  probably  check  many  of 
the  voluntary  non-political  and  benevolent  associations  con- 
nected with  the  work,  which  filled  a  place  that  no  State  organiza- 
tion could  possibly  occupy.  Information  was  disseminated 
through  one  thousand  public  libraries  and  municipal  buildings 
in  addition  to  many  post  offices.  Six  hundred  and  fifty  Boards 
of  Guardians  sent  all  their  emigrated  children  to  the  Dominions. 
In  twenty-one  years  9300  Poor  Law  children  had  been  emigrated 
at  a  cost  to  the  rates  of  £109,000.  The  quality  of  these  children 
was  indicated  by  the  fact  that  out  of  12,790  children  from  the 
Poor  Law  Schools  of  London,  only  62  had  been  returned  by 
their  employers  in  consequence  of  natural  defects,  incompatibility 
of  temper,  or  disposition.  One  hundred  and  thirty  Distress  Com- 
mittees had  sent  16,000  emigrants  to  different  parts  of  the  Em- 
pire in  five  years  at  a  cost  of  £127,000.  Lastly,  before  1907, 
army  reservists  were  not  allowed  to  leave  this  country  and  to 
continue  to  draw  their  reserve  pay.  This  regulation  had  been 
modified,  with  the  result  that  since  1907,  8000  reservists  had 
been  allowed  to  reside  abroad,  of  whom  only  329  were  not  under 
the  British  flag. 



AN  INCENTIVE  similar  to  that  which  brought  the  Pilgrims 
Ix  to  New  England  inspired  the  German  immigrations  of  the 
seventeenth  and  eighteenth  centuries.  In  1677  William  Perm, 
on  one  of  the  missionary  tours  which  he  undertook  for  the  purpose 
of  spreading  the  doctrines  of  the  Quaker  sect,  happened  to  visit 
the  Pietists  of  Fra.nk;fort-on-the-Majn.  Four  years  later,  when 
he  received  a  grant  of  land  in  America,  these  people  corresponded 
with  his  agent.  A  company  was  formed  among  them  which 
eventually  purchased  twenty-five  thousand  acres  of  land.  In  the 
summer  of  1683  the  first  immigrants,  most  of  them  Mennonites 
whom  Penn's  preaching  had  converted  to  Quakerism,  sailed  on 
the  ship  Concord.  They  arrived  in  Philadelphia  on  October  _£. 
1683.  That  day  has  since  been  celebrated  by  German- Americans 
as  the  beginning  of  their  history  in  this  country,  and  the  Concord 
and  its  passengers  have  been  regarded  with  something  of  the 
same  veneration  that  the  Mayflower  and  the  Pilgrim  Fathers 
have  received  from  Americans  generally. 

During  the  religious  and  political  troubles  of  the  eighteenth 
century,  England  and  her  colonies  were  the  refuge  of  the  per- 
secuted of  the  continent.  In  1709  thirteen  thousand  inhabitants 
of  the  Palatinate  fled  to  London.  They  were  maintained  by  the 
English  government,  and  subsequently  colonized  in  New  York 
and  the  Carolinas.  The  same  was  done  for  the  Protestants  of 
Salzburg,  Austria,  who  fled  from  the  persecution  of  Archbishop 
Leopold.  According  to  a  German  scholar,  England's  humane 
and  generous  treatment  of  these  unfortunates  will  always  re- 
dound to  her  glory. 

1  From  "  Their  True  Faith  and  Allegiance "  by  Gustavus  Ohlinger.  The 
Macmillan  Company,  1916. 



Many  other  sects  —  the  Moravians,  the  Reformed,  the 
Lutherans,  the  Tunkers,  the  Schwenkfelders  —  followed.  All 
were  attracted  by  the  same  ideal,  —  freedom  of  worship  after 
the  dictates  of  their  own  consciences.  In  religious  belief  they 
had  much  in  common  with  English  denominations.  Having  no 
ties  to  bind  them  to  the  old  country,  they  soon  adapted  them- 
selves to  the  conditions  of  the  new.  At  the  outbreak  of  the 
War  of  Independence  they  numbered  some  two  hundred  and 
twenty  thousand,  and  they  contributed  their  full  quota  to  the 
revolutionary  armies.  One  of  the  traditions  of  those  stirring 
times  relates  how  Peter  Muhlenberg,  pastor  of  a  Lutheran  church, 
mounted  his  pulpit  one  Sunday  soon  after  the  call  to  arms  had 
gone  forth.  At  the  end  of  his  sermon  he  admonished  his  flock 
that  there  was  a  time  for  prayer,  a  time  for  fasting  and  a  time 
for  battle ;  the  time  for  battle  had  now  come,  and  casting  aside 
his  clerical  gown  he  stood  before  his  congregation  in  the  uniform 
of  a  colonel  of  the  continental  army.  The  drums  beat  outside, 
Four  hundred  of  his  parishioners  rallied  to  the  standard,  and  on 
the  fields  of  Brandy  wine,  German  town,  and  Monmouth  proved 
their  allegiance  to  their  adopted  land. 


The  high  tides  of  German  immigration  during  the  first  seventy 
years  of  the  nineteenth  century  were  marked  by  the  political 
troubles  in  the  old  country,  —  the  suppression  of  the  student 
societies  and  turners  in  1820,  the  revolution  of  1832,  and  the  more 
important  revolution  of  1848.  Each  of  these  disturbances  sent 
its  quota  of  political  refugees  to  America.  Some  sought  America 
merely  as  a  temporary  asylum,  intending  to  return  when  con- 
ditions in  the  old  country  had  improved.  Others,  despairing 
of  the  struggle  for  national  unity  and  freedom  in  Germany, 
hoped  to  realize  their  ideals  by  founding  a  German  state  in  the 
American  west.  The  leaders  in  the  movement  were  Paul  Follen 
and  Friedrich  Munch,  —  names  which  in  the  last  few  years 
have  been  given  much  prominence  by  German- American  or- 
ganizations. "We  must  not,"  these  enthusiasts  argued,  "leave 
Germany  without  at  least  taking  the  first  steps  towards  realizing 
German  national  unity  and  freedom ;  we  will  lay  the  foundations 


of  a  new  and  free  Germany  in  the  great  North  American  Re- 
public. We  will  take  with  us  as  many  as  possible  of  our  best 
people,  and  will  provide  for  others  to  follow;  thus  may  we  be 
able  to  establish  in  one  of  the  American  territories  an  essentially 
German  state  as  a  refuge  for  those  who  have  found  conditions  in 
Germany  intolerable." 

Numerous  societies  were  formed  to  facilitate  the  immigration 
necessary  to  accomplish  this  purpose.  Niles'  Register  remarks 
in  a  contemporary  paragraph  that  "a  plan  is  in  progress  in  the 
southwest  of  Germany  to  make  up  a  state  and  ship  it  over  to 
America  to  become  the  twenty-fifth  member  of  the  confederacy." 
One  such  state  arrived  at  New  York  with  a  complete  outfit,  in- 
cluding a  telescope  and  a  town  bell,  but  disintegrated  on  the 
long  trip  to  St.  Louis.  The  territories  of  Arkansas  and  Wisconsin 
were  at  different  times  selected  as  the  promised  land.  When 
Texas  declared  its  independence,  the  opportunity  seemed  pre- 
sented for  a  peaceful  conquest  of  that  sparsely  settled  country, 
and  several  thousand  immigrants  were  sent  to  the  Lone  Star 
state.  It  is  said  that  the  British  government  favored  the  scheme, 
hoping  thereby  to  place  a  permanent  barrier  in  the  way  of  the 
further  expansion  of  the  United  States  towards  the  southwest. 

Of  all  these  refugees  the  "  f orty-eighters "  clung  most  tena- 
ciously to  their  language  and  national  ideals.  These  people  have 
become  known  in  German-American  history  as  the  " greens,"  as 
distinguished  from  the  older  settlers,  who  were  dubbed  the 
" grays."  The  " greens"  severely  upbraided  their  countrymen 
who  had  preceded  them  for  having  allowed  themselves  to  become 
Americanized,  and  they  made  serious  efforts  to  retard  further 
assimilation.  As  Germans  they  felt  they  had  a  mission  to  fulfill, 
and  that  mission  was  nothing  less  than  the  complete  Germanizing 
oHhe  United  States.  This  was  to  be  accomplished  through  their 
intellectual  superiority,  their  claims  to  which,  though  un- 
doubtedly justified  in  some  instances,  they  made  no  efforts  to 
conceal,  —  and  also  by  founding  German  communities,  and  from 
these  as  centers  making  their  influence  felt  throughout  the 
country.  At  one  time  it  was  proposed  to  concentrate  immigration 
in  Wisconsin  until  through  a  jprerjonderance  of  the  population 
they~°had  succeeded  in  repjacjflgjjiglish  with  German  as  the 
,  of  the  legislature,  and  of  the  schools.  Some 


of  the  enthusiasts  went  so  far  as  to  forecast  the  time  when  the 
United  States,  having  come  under  the  influence  of  German  ideas, 
would  extend  its  sway  throughout  the  world.  The  German 
people  would  in  that  indirect  way  realize  their  ambition  for 
world  dominion. 

But  as  the  years  passed,  the  vision  of  these  exiles  faded  and 
grew  dim.  A  new  Germany,  free  and  powerful,  seemed  an  im- 
possibility ;  a  transplanted  Germany,  in  the  form  of  a  state  set 
down  in  the  western  wilderness,  dissolved  upon  contact  with  the 
realities  of  the  frontier ;  German  communities  could  not  maintain 
their  solidarity  amid  the  complexities  of  industriaHife ;  and  the 
dreamers  were  left  with  the  empire  of  the  German  spirit,  the 
romantic  Germany  of  the  bards  and  singers,  the  world  of  the 
philosophers  and  poets.  And  when,  after  hopes  deferred  and 
years  of  waiting,  the  man  arrived  who  through  the  stern  dis- 
cipline of  blood  and  iron  was  to  weld  the  principalities  of  Germany 
into  an  empire,  there  had  appeared  in  America  one  of  the  most 
tragic  and  compelling  figures  of  all  history.  Bjsjrmrck__was 
forgotten,  and  the  exiles  rallied  to  the  call  of  Lincoln. 


The  succeeding  immigration  differed  materially  from  those 
that  have  been  described.  The  earlier  immigrants  had  brought 
with  them  bitter  memories  of  German  disunion  and  of  the 
tyrannies  and  persecutions  of  their  petty  princes.  Pride  of 
nationality  they  had  in  some  degree,  but  none  of  state  or  country. 
The  less  educated,  lacking  the  political  vision  and  ambitions  of 
the  revolutionaries,  had  scarcely  more  than  family  sentiment  to 
bind  them  to  their  old  homes.  To  them  America  was  the  great 
country  of  freedom,  of  religious  liberty,  of__or£rjortunity,  the 
promised  land  of  anthejrjreams.  Their  old  allegiance,  together 
with  all  that  it  implied,  they  were  glad  and  anxious  to  cast  aside 
as  a  loathed  garment.  But  the  great  waves  of  German  immi- 
gration, which,  gathering  volume  in  the  seventies,  finally  reached 
their  flood  in  the  eighties,  came  from  entirely  different  impulses. 
Neither  national  ideals,  political  freedom,  nor  religious  liberty 
was  uppermost  in  the  minds  of  these  strangers.  Germany  had 
been  united.  What  Bismarck  termed  "the  tragedy  of  the  ages" 


had  been  repaired.  The  empire  furnished  a  concrete  expression 
for  German  national  aspirations.  No  longer  as  outcasts  did 
these  wanderers  approach  our  shores,  but  as  representatives  of  a 
state  of  whose  achievements  they  were  proud  and  of  whose  future 
they  vaguely  hoped  to  remain  a  part.  National  and  political 
aspirations  had  been  fulfilled,  —  what  they  asked  from  America, 
primarily,  wasfmaterial benefits? 
i  A  spiritual  change  came  over  Germany.  The  will  to  power, 
enthralled  from  the  time  that  the  last  Hohenstaufen  met  his  fate 
on  the  scaffold  in  Naples,  was  emancipated.  This  had  been 
accomplished  largely  by  merging  the  individual  in  the  State, 
and  by  making  the  State  synonymous  with  the  Hohenzollern 
dynasty.  But  this  was  overlooked  in  the  enthusiasm  for  the 
new-found  strength,  and  German  professors  set  to  work  to  square 
theory  with  fact.  "The  State  is  a  person,"  exclaims  Bluntschli. 
More  than  that,  it  is  a  man,  not  a  woman,  and  possesses  all  the 
primal  male  attributes  of  positive  action  on  environment.  It 
owes  no  responsibility  and  must  be  ruthless  in  accomplishing  its 

With  these  vital  forces  of  the  nation  organized  and  ready  to  be 
released,  the  educated  men  surveyed  the  past  and  present. 
Spain,  France,  and  England  had  each  had  its  day.  They  had 
.each  boasted  a  world  dominion.  Each  had  in  turn  succumbed 
to  its  successor.  England,  the  last,  had  long  since  lost  its  pre- 
eminence in  every  field  of  human  endeavor.  The  British  empire 
was  held  in  palsied  hands  which  required  only  the  effort  of  youth 
'to  strike  down.  Each  of  these  conquering  nations  had,  however, 
through  its  culture,  language,  and  institutions,  struck  deep  root 
in  foreign  soil.  German  culture  would  therefore  have  to  establish 
itself  in  order  to  pave  the  way  for  commerce  and  political  control. 
To  do  this  required  organized  effort.  Every  German  in  a  position 
of  influence  in  a  foreign  land,  whether  as  an  educator,  aj>rp- 
fessional  man,  a  clergyman,  a  technician,  or  a  director  of  industrial 
enterprises,  represented  an  outlay  of  productive  capital.  It  was 
the  task  of  these  men  to  make  known  the  aims  and  content  of 
German  culture  in  all  its  branches,  from  the  tilling  of  the  soil  to 
the  'philosophy  of  life,  from  the  technique  of  mechanics  to  the 
technique  of  statesmanship,  so  that  the  desire  to  acquire  the 
benefits  of  this  culture  might  be  stimulated.  The  respect  which 


they  earned  through  the  thoroughness  of  their  achievement 
would  redound  to  the  prestige  of  the  empire,  and  the  influence 
which  they  thus  acquired  was  to  be  an  asset  in  the  achievement  of 
national  ideals.  The  conscious  direction  of  these  influences  is 
what  Germans  call  Kulturpolitik,  a  word  which  has  no  English 
equivalent,  for  the  reason  that  the  whole  idea  is  a  German 

Equally  important  was  it  to  retain  at  least  the  spiritual  and 
intellectual  allegiance  of  German  emigrants.  In  1881  there  was 
organized  the  "Educational  Alliance  for  the  Preservation  of 
German  Culture  in  Foreign  Lands "  (Allgemeiner  deutscher 
Schuherein  zur  Erhaltung  des  Deutschthums  im  Auslande). 
"Not  a  man  can  we  spare,"  so  reads  its  declaration  of  principles, 
—  "if  we  expect  to  hold  our  own  against  the  one  hundred  and 
twenty-five  millions  who  already  speak  the  English  language 
and  who  have  preempted  the  most  desirable  fields  for  expansion." 
A  similar  thought  inspired  the  Pan-German  Alliance  (Alldeutszher 
Verband).  It  aims  to  preserve  German  language  and  culture, 
to  vitalize  the  German  national  sentiment  throughout  the  world 
and  to  support  Germans  wherever,  in  a  distant  land,  they  are 
struggling  to  preserve  their  solidarity  against  a  foreign  civili- 
zation. "The  German ppnpje  is  a  race  of  rulers."  so  they  declare. 
"As  such  it  must  be  respected  everywhere  in  the  world.  The. 
Alliance  does  not  believe  that  German  national  development 
ended  with  the  results  of  the  war  of  1870,  great  and  glorious 
though  they  were.  It  is  rather  convinced  that,  with  the  position 
then  won,  there  has  come  a  multitude  of  new  and  greater  duties, 
to  neglect  which  would  mean  the  decadence  of  our  people."  A 
number  of  branches  of  this  society,  as  well  as  of  the  Navy 
League  (Flottenverein) ,  were  established  in  the  United  States. 

The  educated  Germans  had  become  imbued  with  these  ideas 
before  leaving  the  old  country,  and  they  now  kept  in  touch 
with  their  development.  Journalists  and  clergymen  naturally 
found  it  to  their  interests  to  encourage  German  traditions  and 
the  use  of  the  German  language.  The  circulation  of  jtheirja£ws- 
papers  and  the  membership  of  their  churches  depended  upon 
these  conditions.  The  most  potent  influence,  however,  in 
Kulturpolitik  have  been  the  men  who,  in  constantly  increasing 
numbers,  have  come  to  occupy  positions  in  our  universities, 


colleges,  and  public  and  private  schools.  Being,  by  virtue  of 
their  profession,  less  exposed  to  assimilative  influences,  they 
form  the  outposts  of  Germanism,  in  the  United  States. 

It  was  about  twenty  years  ago  that  voices  of  the  new  Germany 
were  first  heard  in  this  country.  The  Spanish-American  war  at 
one  stroke  destroyed  the  isolation  of  the  United  States.  The 
part  she  would  play  on  the  stage  of  world  politics  became  a 
matter  of  vital  interest.  American  ideas  of  colonial  expansion  and 
of  responsibility  towards  foreign  races  approached  to  those  which 
had  built  up  the  British  Empire.  Many  points  of  contact  between 
American  institutions  and  those  of  England  were  brought  to 
consciousness.  Cecil  Rhodes,  dying,  left  a  will  which  provided  a 
means  for  closer  intellectual  and  cultural  association  between 
the  United  States  and  Great  Britain.  Kipling  celebrated  in 
verse  the  mission  of  the  Anglo-Saxon  people.  Much  was  said 
about  Anglo-Saxon  unity,  a  phrase  which  Germans  interpreted 
as  Anglo-Saxon  imperialism. 

This  was  the  beginning  of  the  struggle.  It  was  the  signal  for  the 
mobilization  of  the  forces  of  Kulturpolitik  in  this  country.  Anglp- 
Saxon  unity,  or  even  a  closer  understanding  between  the  branches 
of  that  race,  was  seen  as  an  insuperable  obstacle  in  the  way  of 
German  plans  for  world  dominion.  Journalists,  clergymen, 
educators,  began  to  agitate  among  their  countrymen  for  the 
solidarity  of  the  German  element,  the  preservation  of  the  German 
language,  and  the  spread  of  German  culture.  Their  appeals 
found  a  ready  response  among  the  later  arrivals  and  even  engaged 
the  attention  of  the  older  element,  who,  though  having  no  interest 
in  Germany  as  an  empire,  still  cherished  the  memory  of  the 
Fatherland  as  the  home  of  Goethe,  Schiller,  of  Grimm's  Fairy 
Tales,  of  the  philosophers  and  musicians.  Men  holding  chairs 
in  our  universities,  permeated  with  the  teaching  of  Treitschke, 
Droysen,  and  other  modern  German  historians,  pointed  to  what 
they  regarded  as  signs  of  the  impending  dissolution  of  the 
British^Empire ;  the  costly  Boer  war  had  drained  its  strength ; 
the  discontent  in  India,  the  troubles  in  Ireland,  were  under- 
mining its  constitution;  Germany  was  destined  to  overthrow 
the  palsied  colossus  and  succeed  it  as  a  world  empire ;  German 
culture  would  then  be  supreme,  the  German  language  the 
universal  tongue.  Anglo-Saxon  civilization  the  agitators  both 


disparaged  as  decadent  and,  like  Treitschke,  cordially  hated. 
Puritanism,  to  them  the  essence  of  hypocrisy,  represented  its 
most  odious  pha,se.  They  proclaimed  that  only  in  a  political 
ancLgeoffraphical  sense  had  they  become  Americans  with  the 
oath  of  naturalization,  —  in  all  other  respects  they  remained 
Germans ;  they  condemned  any  approach  to  assimilation  and 
decried  the  moral  of  Zangwill's  "Melting  Pot."  Some  sought  to 
give  the  propaganda  a  patriotic  guise  by  declaring  that  it  was 
the  sacred  mission  of  the  German  element  to  guard  themselves, 
their  language,  and  their  culture  from  native  influences  in  order 
that  as  a  chosen  people  they  might  save  America  from  the  decay 
which  was  destroying  the  vitals  of  everything  Anglo-Saxon.  The 
media  for  the  propaganda  were  the  lecture  platform,  the  German 
newspapers,  German  societies,  churches,  and  schools.  A  German 
who  had  served  as  a  member  of  the  Reichstag  began  the  publi- 
cation in  New  York  of  a  monthly  magazine  as  the  special  expo- 
nent of  these  ideas. 

Organizations  of  every  kind  have  always  been  a  feature^  of 
German  life  in  America.'  The  national  "Sangerbund"  was 
organized  in  1849.  The  turners  organized  as  far  back  as  1848, 
and  have  had  a  national  alliance  since  1850,  and  to-day  boast 
forty  thousand  members,  with  a  normal  school  in  Indianapolis. 
In  1870  the  association  of  German  teachers  (Deutsch-amerikan- 
ischer  Lehrerbund)  was  formed  and  soon  after  that  a  training  school 
was  established  in  Milwaukee.  In  1885  a  national  organization 
of  German  schools  (National  deutsch-amerikanischer  Schulverein) 
was  started,  but  met  with  the  opposition  of  the  older  element, 
who,  while  they  favored  the  propaganda  for  the  German  language 
in  parts  of  Austria  and  Hungary,  could  see  no  reason  for  such 
a  movement  in  the  United  States.  There  are  associations  of 
German  veterans  and  reservists,  many  mutualjud  and  Jbenefit 
societies,  the  well-known  singing  societies,  and  innumerable 
other  organizations. 

Under  the  influence  of  the  new  propaganda  all  these  societies 
were  brought  into  closer  touch  with  each  other.  In  1899  the 
German  societies  of  Pennsylvania  formed  a  state  federation 
known  as  the  German-American  Central  Alliance.  This  suggested 
a  national  organization,  and  in  the  following"  year  delegates  from 
Ohio,  Pennsylvania,  Maryland,  and  Minnesota  assembled  in 


Philadelphia  and  formed  a  temporary  association.  In  1901,  on 
the  anniversary  of  the  landing  of  the  Concord  pilgrims,  a  perma- 
nent organization  was  perfected,  known  as  the  National  German- 
American  Alliance.  This  achievement  the  promoters  regard  as 
of  the  greatest  importance  for  the  future  of  the  German  element 
in  the  United  States. 

According  to  its  constitution  the  membership  of  the  Alliance 
is  made  up  of  state  and  local  alliances.  German  societies  every- 
where have  been  urged  to  unite  in  local  and  state  federations. 
It  is  only  where  city  and  state  federations  have  not  been  organized 
that  individual  societies  are  taken  into  membership.  The  work 
of  organization  has  been  prosecuted  with  vigor  in  the  last  few 
years,  with  the  result  that  there  is  now  a  state  federation  in  every 
state  of  the  Union,  and  every  city  of  importance  has  its  Stadtver- 
band,  made  up  of  delegates  of  local  organizations.  The  Alliance 
is  supported  by  a  per  capita  levy  upon  the  membership  of  all 
component  societies.  In  1907  it  was  incorporated  by  act  of 
Congress,  and  it  now  claims  to  reach,  through  its  subordinate 
state  and  local  federations  and  individual  societies,  not  less  than 
two  million  five  hundred  thousand  Germans. 

The  principal  objects  of  the  Alliance,  as  officially  announced, 
are  to  awaken  and  strengthen  the  sense  of  unity  among  the 
people  of  German  origin  jn  America;  to  check  nativistic  eji- 
croachments ;  to  maintain  and  safeguard  friendly  relations 
between~S.merica  and  Germany;  to  augment  the  influence  of 
German  culture  by  encouraging  the  use  of  the  German  language 
and  making  its  teaching  in  the  public  schools  compulsory:  to 
introduce  into  school  histories  a  proper  estimate  of  the  work  of 
German  pioneers  and  of  their  part  in  developing  our  institutions ; 
to  oppose  restrictions  upon  immigration;  to_  )i,bera.Hze  qur 
naturalizaticn^Taws  by  removing  knowledge  of  the  English 
language  and  other  educational  tests  as  requirements  of  citizen- 
ship; and,  finally,  to  combat  Puritan_influences,  particularly 
invasions  of  personal  liberty  in  the  form  of  restrictions  upon  the 
liquor  traffic.  The  Alliance  is  pledged  to  bring  its  entire  organi- 
zaHonTo  the  support  of  any  state  federation  which  is  engaged  in 
a  struggle  for  any  of  these  objects. 

"We  must  be  united,  united,  united,  —  every  petty  jealousy, 
every  local  interest,  must  be  forgotten,"  the  officers  of  the 


Alliance  have  repeatedly  admonished  their  members.  From  the 
point  of  view  of  the  American  who  is  interested  solely  in  the 
amalgamation  of  races  in  a  more  perfect  union  and  in  the  highest 
development  of  our  national  life,  it  is  difficult  to  understand 
what  exigency  requires  the  awakening  and  strengthening  of  the 
sense  of  unity  among  citizens  of  German  origin.  If  the  Alliance 
professes  patriotic  purposes,  why  should  it  aim  to  develop  a 
solidarity. within  racial  lines  ?  Why  should  the  sense  of  unity  be 
encouraged  among  Germans,  and  if  among  Germans,  why  not 
among  those  citizens  who  happen  to  be  of  English,  Canadian, 
Russian,  or  Italian  descent? 

Equally  difficult  is  it  to  understand  the  need  of  such  an 
organization  for  resisting  "nativistic  encroachments."  Long 
before  the  Alliance  came  into  existence,  German  citizens, 
from  Michael  Hillegas,  the  first  Treasurer  of  the  Continental 
Congress,  to  Carl  Schurz,  Secretary  of  the  Interior  in  Hayes' 
administration,  have  been  welcomed  to  the  highest  offices  in 
the  gift  of  the  people.  From  the  time  the  Know-Nothing 
movement  collapsed  —  a  movement  which  was  called  into 
being  in  large  measure  by  the  separatist  ideals  of  the  immi- 
grants of  1832  and  1848  —  Americans  have  kept  their  rjplitics 
aloof  from  racial  or  extinctions,  and  those  who  have 
trespassed  this  unwritten  law  have  received  prompt  and  merited 

In  estimating  the  activity  of  the  Germans  during  the  last 
eighteen  months  allowance  must  be  made  for  the  high  tension  of 
feeling  produced  by  the  war.  Nor  must  it  be  imagined  for  one 
moment  that  the  majority  of  Germans  in  this  country  subscribe 
to  the  opinions  put  forth  by  the  noisy  propagandists.  This 
group,  though  compact  and  well  organized,  forms  but  a  small 
fraction  of  the  thirty  millions  of  citizens  of  German  birth  or 
descent  in  this  country.  They  represent  the  laterimmigra  tions ,  — 
for  the  most  part  those  which  followed  theTormation  of  the 
empire.  The  official  roster  of  the  Alliance  may  fairly  be  taken  as 
representative  of  its  membership,  or  at  least  of  the  controlling 
faction  in  that  membership.  Of  the  twelve  officers  not  one  can 
point  to  an  Americanism  more  than  two  generations  old.  The 
majority  are  foreign-born. 


It  is  for  the  descendants  of  those  Germans  who  fought  under  i 
Herkimer  at  Oriskany;   of  those  who  followed  Muhlenberg;   of  f 
those  who  over  the  trenches  of  Yorktown  heard  the  opposing 
commands  given  in  their  native  tongue,  and  finally  saw  the 
garrison  march  out  to  the  time  of  German  .music ;   of  those  who 
fought  under  Schurz  and  Sigel  in  the  Civil  War,  to  rebuke  these 
prophets  of  disunion  and  to  turn  the  aspirations  of  their  country- 
men in  the  direction  of  true  American  nationalism.  s 



THE  Jewish  immigration  has  been  shown  to  consist  essentially 
of  permanent  settlers.  Its  family  movement  is  incomparable 
in  degree,  and  contains  a  larger  relative  proportion  as  well  as 
absolute  number  of  women  and  children,  than  any  other  im- 
migrant people.  This  in  turn  is  reflected  in  the  greater  relative 
proportion  as  well  as  absolute  number  of  those  classified  as 
having  "no  occupation."  The  element  of  dependency  thus 
predicated  is  another  indication  of  the  family  composition  of  the 
Jewish  immigration.  Its  return  movement  is  the  smallest  of 
any,  as  compared  both  with  its  large  immigration  and  the 
number  of  total  emigrants.  The  Jewish  immigrants  are  dis- 
tinguished as  well  by  a  larger  relative  proportion  and  absolute 
number  of  skilled  laborers,  than  any  other  immigrant  people. 
In  these  four  primary  characteristics  the  Jewish  immigrants  stand 
apart  from  all  the  others. 

It  is  with  the  neighboring  Slavic  races  emigrating  from  the 
countries  of  Eastern  Europe  and  with  whom  the  Jewish  immi- 
grants are  closely  associated  that  the  contrasts,  in  all  these 
respects,  are  strongest.  The  Slavic  immigrants  are  chiefly  male 
adults.  Their  movement  is  largely  composed  of  transients,  as 
evidenced  by  a  relatively  large  outward  movement  and  em- 
phasized by  the  fact  that  the  vast  majority  of  them  are  unskilled 
laborers.  An  exception,  in  large  measure,  must  be  made  of  the 
Bohemian  and  Moravian  immigrants,  who  present  characteristics 
strongly  similar  to  those  of  the  Jewish  immigrants. 

The  division  into  "old"  and  "new"  immigration  brings 
out  even  more  clearly  the  exceptional  position  of  the  Jews  in 

1  Summary  and  conclusions,  of  Jewish  Immigration  to  the  United  States.  Chap- 
ter VI.  Columbia  University  Studies,  1914. 



regard  to  these  characteristics.  Although  the  Jewish  immi- 
gration has  been  contemporaneous  with  the  "new"  immigration 
from  Eastern  and  Southeastern  Europe,  and  is  furthermore 
essentially  East-European  in  origin,  its  characteristic  place  is 
altogether  with  the  "old"  immigration.1  Most  striking,  how- 
ever is  the  fact  that  in  all  of  these  respects  —  family  composition 
and  small  return  movement  (both  indicating  permanent  settle- 
ment) and  in  the  proportion  of  skilled  laborers  —  the  Jewish 
immigration  stands  apart  even  from  the  "old"  immigration. 

Further  confirmation  may  be  obtained,  in  the  study  of  the 
characteristics  of  the  Jewish  immigration,  of  the  principle 
established  in  the  preceding  sections  that  the  rejective  forces  of 
governmental  oppression  are  responsible  for  the  largest  part  of 
this  immigration.  The  large  family  movement  of  the  Jewish 
immigration  is  a  symptom  of  abnormal  conditions  and  amounts 
almost  to  a  reversal  of  the  normal  immigration,  in  which  single 
or  married  men  without  families  predominate.  Even  the  family 
movement  of  the  "old"  immigrants  may  largely  be  attributed 
to  the  longer  residence  of  their  peoples  in  the  United  States  as 
well  as  to  their  greater  familiarity  with  the  conditions  and 
customs  of  the  United  States.  That  so  large  a  part  of  the  Jewish 
immigrants  is  composed  of  dependent  females  and  children  creates 
a  situation  of  economic  disadvantage  for  the  Jewish  immigrants, 
all  the  stronger  because  of  their  relative  unfamiliarity  with  the 
language  or  the  conditions  facing  them  in  this  country. 

Again,  the  Jews  respond  slowly  and  incompletely  to  the  pres- 
sure of  unfavorable  econo*mic  conditions  in  this  country.  This 
was  emphasized  by  the  'almost  complete  lack  of  response  to  the 
panic  of  1907,  as  well  as  expressed  in  the  small,  practically  un- 
changing return  movement  of  the  Jews  to  their  European  homes. 

The  pressure  upon  the  Jewish  artisans,  or  skilled  laborers, 
in  Eastern  Europe  is  reflected  in  the  predominance  of  this  class 
among  the  Jewish  immigrants  to  this  country.  That  so  useful  an 
element  in  Eastern  Europe  with  its  still  relatively  backward  in- 
dustrial development  —  a  fact  that  was  given  express  recognition 

1  So  strongly  Was  this  the  case  that  the  Immigration  Commission  in  discussing 
these  characteristics  was  compelled  to  separate  the  Jewish  from  the  "new"  immi- 
gration, in  order  to  bring  out  the  essential  differences  of  the  latter  from  the  "old" 


by  the  permission  accorded  the  Jewish  artisans  in  Alexander 
IPs  time  to  live  in  the  interior  of  Russia  —  should  have  been 
compelled  to  emigrate  indicates  that  the  voyage  across  the 
Atlantic  was  easier  for  them  than  the  trip  into  the  interior  of 
Russia,  access  to  which  is  still  legally  accorded  to  them. 

That  the  oppressive  conditions  created  particularly  in  Russia 
and  Roumania  and  operating  as  a  pressure  equivalent  to  an 
expulsive  force  does  not  explain  the  entire  Jewish  immigration 
to  this  country  is  evident  from  the  preceding  pages.  In  a  great 
measure,  the  immigration  of  Jews  from  Austria-Hungary  is  an 
economic  movement.  The  existence,  however,  of  a  certain  degree 
of  pressure  created  by  economic  and  political  antisemitism  has 
however  been  recognized.  The  Jewish  movement  from  Austria- 
Hungary  shares  largely  with  the  movement  from  Russia  and 
Roumania  the  social  and  economic  characteristics  of  the  Jewish 
immigration  which  we  have  described.  A  strong  family  move- 
ment and  a  relative  permanence  of  settlement,  especially  as 
compared  with  the  Poles,  and  a  movement  of  skilled  laborers 
must  be  predicated  of  the  Jewish  immigrants  from  Austria- 
Hungary,  though  undoubtedly  not  to  the  same  degree  as  in  the 
case  of  the  Jewish  movements  from  Russia  and  Roumania. 

It  is  also  clear  that  the  forces  of  economic  attraction  in  the 
United  States  do  not  play  an  altogether  passive  part  in  the 
Jewish  immigration.  The  very  fact  of  an  immigrant-nucleus 
formed  in  this  country  and  serving  as  a  center  of  attraction  to 
relatives  and  friends  abroad  —  a  force  which  increases  in  direct 
and  multiple  proportion  to  the  growth  of  immigration  —  is  an 
active  and  positive  force  in  strengthening  the  immigration 
current.  This  was  early  understood  by  the  Alliance  Israelite 
Universelle  which  had  acted  upon  this  principle  in  the  seventies 
and  had  prophetically  sought  to  direct  a  healthy  movement  of 
Jewish  immigrants  to  this  country  in  the  hope  of  thereby  laying 
a  foundation  for  future  Jewish  immigration  to  this  country. 
This  current,  however,  once  started  and  growing  only  by  the 
force  of  its  increasing  attraction,  would  reflect  in  its  movement 
almost  Wholly  the  economic  conditions  in  this  country.  That  so 
large  a  part  of  the  Jewish  immigration,  and  so  many  of  the 
phenomena  peculiar  to  it,  find  their  explanation,  for  the  largest 
part  of  the  thirty  years,  in  the  situation  and  the  course  of  events 


in  the  countries  of  Eastern  Europe  leads  to  the  inevitable  con- 
clusion that  the  key  to  the  Jewish  immigration  is  to  be  found 
not  in  the  force  of  economic  attraction  exercised  in  the  United 
States  but  rather  in  the  exceptional  economic,  social,  and  legal 
conditions  in  Eastern  Europe  which  have  been  created  as  a  result 
of  governmental  persecution. 

Reviewing  the  various  phases  of  the  history  of  Jewish  immi- 
gration for  these  thirty  years,  we  are  enabled  to  see  more  closely 
its  nature.  The  study  of  the  immigration,  its  movement  and  its 
social  and  economic  characteristics,  in  comparison  with  those 
of  other  immigrant  peoples,  has  revealed  in  it  a  number  of  dis- 
tinguishing traits.  In  the  causes  of  the  emigration  of  the  Jews, 
in  the  pressure  exerted  upon  their  movement  as  reflected  in  their 
rate  of  immigration,  in  their  family  movement,  in  the  permanence 
of  their  settlement,  and  in  their  occupational  distribution  have 
been  found  characteristics  which  mark  them  off  from  the  rest 
of  the  immigrant  peoples.  The  number  of  these  characteristics 
and  the  degree  in  which  they  are  found  in  the  Jewish  immigration, 
put  it  in  a  class  by  itself. 

The  facts  of  governmental  pressure  amounting  to  an  expulsive 
force,  and  reflected  in  an  extraordinary  rate  of  immigration,  in  a 
movement  of  families  unsurpassed  in  the  American  immigration, 
the  largest  part  economically  dependent,  in  an  occupational 
grouping  of  skilled  artisans,  able  to  earn  their  livelihood  under 
normal  conditions,  and  in  a  permanence  of  settlement  in  this 
country  incomparable  in  degree  and  indicating  that  practically 
all  who  come  stay  —  all  these  facts  lead  irresistibly  to  the  con- 
clusion that  in  the  Jewish  movement  we  are  dealing,  not  with 
an  immigration,  but  with  a  migration.  What  we  are  witnessing 
to-day,  and  for  these  thirty  years,  is  a  Jewish  migration  of  a 
kind  and  degree  almost  without  a  parallel  in  the  history  of  the 
Jewish  people.  When,  in  speaking  of  the  beginnings  of  Russian 
Jewish  immigration  to  Philadelphia,  David  Sulzberger  said :  "In 
thirty  years  the  movement  of  Jews  from  Russia  to  the  United 
States  has  almost  reached  the  dignity  of  the  migration  of  a 
people,"  he  used  no  literary  phrase.  In  view  of  the  facts  that 
have  developed,  this  statement  is  true  without  any  qualification. 

This  migration-process  explains  the  remarkable  growth  of  the 
Jewish  population  in  the  United  States,  within  a  relatively  short 


period  of  time.  In  this  transplantation,  the  spirit  of  social 
solidarity  and  communal  responsibility  prevalent  among  the 
Jews  has  played  a  vital  part. 

The  family  rather  than  the  individual  thus  becomes  the  unit 
for  the  social  life  of  the  Jewish  immigrant  population  in  the 
United  States.  In  this  respect  the  latter  approaches  more  nearly 
the  native  American  population  than  does  the  foreign  white  or 
immigrant  population.  One  of  the  greatest  evils  incident  to  and 
characteristic  of  the  general  immigration  to  this  country  is 
thereby  minimized. 

Again,  the  concentration  of  the  Jewish  immigrants  in  certain 
trades  explains  in  great  measure  the  peculiarities  of  the  occupa- 
tional and  the  urban  distribution  of  the  Jews  in  the  United 
States.  The  development  of  the  garment  trades  through  Jewish 
agencies  is  largely  explained  by  the  recruiting  of  the  material 
for  this  development  through  these  laborers. 

These  primary  characteristics  of  the  Jewish  immigration  of  the 
last  thirty  years  will  serve  to  explain  some  of  the  most  important 
phases  of  the  economic  and  social  life  of  the  Jews  in  the  United 
States,  three  fourths  of  whom  are  immigrants  of  this  period. 

Of  all  the  features  in  this  historic  movement  of  the  Jews  from 
Eastern  Europe  to  the  United  States,  not  the  least  interesting  is 
their  passing  from  civilizations  whose  bonds  with  their  medieval 
past  are  still  strong  to  a  civilization  which  began  its  course  un- 
hampered by  tradition  and  unyoked  to  the  forms  and  institutions 
of  the  past.  The  contrast  between  the  broad  freedom  of  this 
democracy  and  the  intolerable  despotism  from  whose  yoke  most 
of  them  fled  has  given  them  a  sense  of  appreciation  of  American 
political  and  social  institutions  that  is  felt  in  every  movement  of 
their  mental  life. 



'  AT  EVER  judge  a  ship  from  the  shore,"  say  the  Tuscans,  and 

1  Nl  the  contadino,  who  is  fond  of  proverbs,  often  quotes  this 
bit  of  traditional  wisdom  when  he  finds  that  his  wolf  was  only  a 
gray  dog  after  all.  Hamlet's  cloud  is  not  a  camel;  nor  is  an 

onest  workman  a  shiftless  beggar  buffoon.  The  laborer  and 
not  the  organ-grinder  now  represents  the  Italian  in  America; 
but  the  popular  idea  mistakes  the  one  for  the  other.  Thanks  to 
the  secluded  ways  of  Italians,  the  actual  facts  of  their  life  among 
us  are  almost  entirely  unknown.  In  common  with  Mexicans  and 
Jews,  they  are  pilloried  by  insulting  nicknames.  They  are 
charged  with  pauperism,  crime,  and  degraded  living,  and  they  are 
judged  unheard  and  almost  unseen.  These  short  and  sturdy 
laborers,  who  swing  along  the  streets  with  their  heavy  stride  early 
in  the  morning  and  late  at  night,  deserve  better  of  the  country. 
They  are  doing  the  work  of  men,  and  they  are  the  full  equals  of 
any  national  army  of  peasant  adventurers  that  ever  landed  on 

ur  shores. 

To  brand  an  Italian  immigrant  with  the  word  "alien"  is  to 
curse  him  for  being  unlike  ourselves.  But  when  we  know  who 
and  what  he  is,  and  why  he  comes  to  the  United  States,  and  what 
he  becomes  after  he  gets  here,  we  recognize  human  kinship,  and 
see  what  we  ourselves  should  be  with  different  birth  and  breeding. 
One  serious  misconception  starts  in  a  name.  It  is  as  misleading 
to  dub  a  nation  "  La  tin"  as  "Anglo-Saxon."  Italians  differ  from 
one  another  almost  as  much  as  men  can  differ  who  are  still  of 
the  same  color.  Ethnography  now  makes  its  classifications 
according  to  cranial  formation.  Most  northern  Italians  are  of 
the  Alpine  race  and  have  short,  broad  skulls.  All  southern 
Italians  are  of  the  Mediterranean  race  and  have  long,  narrow 

1  From  The  Outlook,  February  24,  1906. 


skulls.  Between  the  two  lies  a  broad  strip  of  country,  in  northern 
and  central  Italy,  peopled  by  those  of  mixed  blood.  History  has 
a  less  theoretical  story  to  tell,  and  explains  the  differences  that 
separate  near  neighbors,  in  the  north  as  in  the  south.  If  a  single 
race  ever  inhabited  Italy  to  form  an  original  parent  stock,  it  has 
borne  the  grafts  of  so  many  other  races  that  all  sign  of  it  is  lost. 
For  prolonged  periods  sometimes  one  part  of  the  land,  sometimes 
another,  and  sometimes  the  whole  peninsula  and  the  islands, 
have  been  held  in  the  power  of  Phcenicians,  Greeks,  the  countless 
wild  hordes  of  the  North,  the  Saracens,  the  Spanish,  French, 
and  Germans.  They  all  came  in  great  numbers  and  freely  married 
with  native  women.  In  the  northeast  there  is  a  Slav  intermixture, 
and  a  trace  of  the  Mongol.  In  appearance  the  Italian  may  be 
anything  from  a  tow-headed  Teuton  to  a  swarthy  Arab.  Vary- 
ing with  the  district  from  which  he  comes,  in  manner  he  may 
be  rough  and  boisterous;  suave,  fluent,  and  gesticulative ;  or 
grave  and  silent. 

These  differences  extend  to  the  very  essentials  of  life.  The 
provinces  of  Italy  are  radically  unlike,  not  only  in  dress,  cookery, 
and  customs,  but  in  character,  thought,  and  speech.  A  distinct 
change  of  dialect  is  often  found  in  a  morning's  walk,  and  it  would 
probably  be  impossible  to  travel  fifty  miles  along  any  road  in 
Italy  without  meeting  greater  differences  in  language  than  can 
be  found  in  our  English  anywhere  between  Maine  and  Cali- 
fornia. The  schools,  the  army,  and  the  navy  are  now  carrying 
the  Italian  language  to  the  remotest  province,  but  an  ignorant 
Valtellinese,  from  the  mountains  of  the  north,  and  an  ignorant 
Neapolitan  have  as  yet  no  means  of  understanding  each  other ; 
and,  what  is  more  remarkable,  the  speech  of  the  unschooled 
peasant  of  Genoa  is  unintelligible  to  his  fellow  of  Piedmont,  who 
lives  less  than  one  hundred  miles  away.  A  Genoese  ship's  captain 
can  understand  his  Sicilian  sailors,  when  they  are  talking  famil- 
iarly among  themselves,  about  as  well  as  an  English  commander 
of  a  "Peninsular  and  Oriental"  liner  can  follow  the  jabbering  of 
his  Lascar  crew.  Nor  can  ignorant  men  from  some  of  the  prov- 
inces understand  the  pure  Italian.  Two  classes  were  recently 
held  in  the  Episcopal  Church  of  San  Salvatore,  in  Broome  Street, 
New  York,  to  teach  Sicilians  enough  Italian  to  enable  them  to 
use  their  prayer-book. 


The  age-long  political  division  of  Italy  into  a  number  of  petty 
States  preserved  all  differences  and  inspired  an  intense  local 
patriotism ;  nor  did  the  narrow  belfry  spirit  wholly  vanish  with 
the  political  union  of  1870.  Relics  of  it  are  still  found.  Ask  a 
Roman  peasant  if  he  is  an  Italian,  and  he  is  as  likely  as  not  to 
say  "No,"  that  he  is  a  Roman;  and  so  with  a  Genoese  or  a 
Neapolitan.  In  dislike  or  indifference  toward  those  from  other 
parts  of  the  country,  the  Italian  abroad  usually  seeks  those  of 
his  own  city  or  province.  In  the  same  way,  little  circles  of  friends 
are  formed  in  the  Italian  army  and  navy.  Question  a  group  of 
sailors  on  shore  leave  from  an  Italian  man-of-war,  and  you  will 
probably  find  that,  with  perhaps  a  single  exception,  they  are  all 
of  one  place.  Ask  them  how  this  happens,  and  they  may  tell 
you,  as  they  have  told  me,  laughing:  "Friendship  is  for  those 
from  the  same  fatherland" 

These  profound  dissimilarities  make  sweeping  generalities 
about  Italians  impossible.  Yet  in  one  point  every  province  is 
alike.  The  poor  everywhere  are  all  crushed  by  heavy  taxes  for 
maintenance  of  the  large  army  and  navy  which  make  Italy  a  first- 
class  European  power.  More  serious  than  the  exactions  of 
the  taxgatherer  is  the  long-continued  agricultural  depression 
that  has  reduced  a  large  part  of  the  south  to  poverty.  Nor  is 
this  all.  The  peasant's  lot  is  made  infinitely  worse  by  an  Irish 
question  that  is  the  blight  of  nearly  all  southern  Italy,  Sicily,  and 
Sardinia.  There  are  the  same  huge  entailed  estates  and  the 
same  lazy,  reactionary,  and  absentee  landlords.  Throughout 
large  sections  great  tracts  of  fertile  soil  support  only  one  shepherd 
or  one  farmer  per  square  mile.  To  these  idle  lands  must  be  added 
the  vast  stretches  of  barren  mountains,  and  the  malaria-infested 
fifth  of  the  entire  surface  of  the  peninsula.  No  new  territory  has 
been  added  to  the  kingdom,  while  the  population  has  been  in- 
creasing within  twenty  years  from  twenty-eight  and  one  half 
to  thirty-two  and  one  half  millions  —  an  average  density  for  the 
whole  country  of  301  per  square  mile.  And  the  excess  of  births 
over  deaths  amounts  to  nearly  350,000  a  year  —  the  population 
of  a  province.  Through  whole  districts  in  this  overcrowded  land 
Italians  have  to  choose  between  emigration  and  starvation. 

A  definite  economic  cause  drives  the  poor  Meridionale  from  his 
home,  and  a  definite  economic  cause  and  not  a  vague  migratory 


instinct  brings  him  to  America.  He  comes  because  the  country 
has  the  most  urgent  need  of  unskilled  labor.  This  need  largely 
shapes  the  character  of  our  Italian  immigration,  and  offers 
immediate  work  to  most  of  the  newcomers.  Almost  eighty  per 
cent  of  them  are  males ;  over  eighty  per  cent  are  between  the 
ages  of  fourteen  and  forty-five ;  over  eighty  per  cent  are  from 
the  southern  provinces,  and  nearly  the  same  percentage  are  un- 
skilled laborers,  who  include  a  large  majority  of  the  illiterates. 
These  categories  overlap,  so  that  the  bulk  of  our  Italian  immi- 
gration is  composed  of  ignorant,  able-bodied  laborers  from  the 
south.  They  come  by  the  hundred  thousand,  yet  their  great 
numbers  are  quickly  absorbed  without  disturbing  either  the 
public  peace  or  the  labor  market.  In  spite  of  the  enormous 
immigration  of  Italians  in  1903  and  1904,  the  last  issue  of  the 
United  States  Labor  Bulletin  shows  that  the  average  daily  wage 
of  the  laborer  in  the  North  Atlantic  States  — the  " congested" 
district  at  the  very  gates  of  Ellis  Island  —  had  increased  within 
the  year  from  $1.33  to  $1.39.  And  1904  was  not  a  particularly 
prosperous  year.  Equally  significant,  in  view  of  the  unprec- 
edented Italian  immigration  of  the  first  six  months  of  this  year, 
is  the  announcement  in  the  last  number  of  the  Bulletin  of  the 
New  York  State  Department  of  Labor  that  the  improvement 
in  the  conditions  of  employment  has  been  so  marked,  and  "the 
proportion  of  idle  wage-earners  has  diminished  so  rapidly,  that 
the  second  quarter  of  1905  surpasses  that  of  1902,  the  record 

The  demand  of  the  East  for  labor  is  first  heard  by  the  new 
arrival  who  needs  to  look  for  work,  and  probably  a  majority  of 
Italian  braccianti  never  go  more  than  a  hundred  and  fifty  miles 
away  from  New  York.  Immediate  work  and  high  wages,  and  not 
a  love  for  the  tenement,  create  our  "Little  Italics."  The  great 
enterprises  in  progress  in  and  about  the  city,  the  subways, 
tunnels,  waterworks,  railroad  construction,  as  well  as  the 
ordinary  building  operations,  call  for  a  vast  army  of  laborers. 
For  new  and  remodeled  tenements  alone,  authorized  by  the 
Building  Department  between  April  and  June,  1905,  the  esti- 
mated cost  was  over  $39,000,000.  This  gives  one  measure  of  the 
demand.  A  labor  leader  has  furnished  another.  At  a  recent 
conference,  arguing  that  restriction  of  immigration  would  benefit 


American  labor,  he  said  that  an  authority  in  the  building  trade 
had  calculated  that  with  immigration  suspended,  common  labor 
in  New  York  would  be  receiving  $3  within  a  year.  He  had  not 
calculated  the  paralysis  that  such  a  wage  would  inflict  upon 

Of  all  that  come  in  response  to  our  national  invitation  to  the 
worker,  the  educated  Italian  without  a  manual  trade  is  the 
Italian  who  most  signally  fails  in  America.  He  'is  seen  idling 
at  the  cheap  restaurants  everywhere  in  the  Italian  colonies.  But 
the  illiterate  laborer  takes  no  chances.  He  usually  has  definite 
knowledge  of  precisely  where  work  is  needed  before  he  leaves 
home.  Fifteen  thousand  immigrants  sometimes  reach  Ellis 
Island  in  a  single  day.  Yet  each  Italian  must  earn  his  living  in 
some  way,  and  that  at  once,  for  he  brings  no  more  than  eight  or 
ten  dollars  with  him. 

This  same  inborn  conservatism  that  risks  nothing  makes  of 
southern  Italians  the  most  mobile  supply  of  labor  that  this 
country  has  ever  known.  Migratory  laborers,  who  come  here  to 
work  during  eight  or  nine  months  of  the  year,  and  return  between 
October  and  December,  are  a  very  large  part  of  the  annual  immi- 
gration. They  form  a  stream  of  workers  that  ebbs  and  flows  from 
Italy  to  America  in  instant  response  to  demand ;  and  yet  the 
significance  of  the  movement  has  gone  almost  entirely  unnoticed. 
More  than  98,000  Italians  —  laborers  and  others,  but  chiefly 
laborers  —  went  back  to  Italy  in  1903.  In  1904,  owing  to  a 
temporary  lull  in  our  prosperity  and  the  general  business  un- 
certainty during  a  Presidential  campaign,  the  demand  slackened. 
The  common  laborer,  who  ordinarily  pays  a  padrone  fifty  cents  as 
a  fee  for  employment,  was  offering  as  high  as  five  dollars  for  a 
job  in  the  summer  of  1904.  In  the  end,  more  than  134,000  Italians 
returned  to  Italy  within  the  year,  and  we  were  saved  the  problem 
of  an  army  of  unemployed. 

If  the  ignorant  immigrant  is  a  menace,  the  mobility  of  Italian 
unskilled  labor  has  conferred  another  blessing  upon  us,  for  it  is 
the  very  element  that  contains  a  large  majority  of  the  dreaded 
illiterates.  The  whole  number  of  them  who  enter  the  community 
thus  gives  no  indication  of  the  number  who  are  permanently 
added  to  our  population,  and  the  yearly  percentage  of  their 
arrivals  since  1901  has  fallen  from  59.1  per  cent  to  47  per  cent, 


and  is  likely  to  fall  still  lower.  But  there  is  something  to  be  said 
on  behalf  of  the  illiterates  who  remain  among  us.  They  are  never 
Anarchists;  they  are  guiltless  of  the  so-called  "black  hand" 
letters.  The  individual  bracciante  is,  in  fact,  rarely  anything  but 
a  gentle  and  often  a  rather  dull  drudge,  who  still  has  wit  enough 
to  say  that  he  knows  he  cannot  be  Caesar,  and  is  very  well  content 
to  be  plain  Neapolitan  Nicola.  Knowledge  is  power,  but  an 
education  gives  no  certificate  of  character,  and  still  less  does 
ability  to  read  and  write  afford  any  test  whatever  either  of 
morals  or  of  brains.  A  concrete  instance  gives  a  practical  proof. 
There  are  more  than  four  times  as  many  illiterates  in  the  general 
population  of  the  United  States  as  were  found,  according  to  the 
last  published  report,  among  those  arrested  in  Greater  New  York 
between  January  i  and  March  31,  1905  :  44,014  persons  were 
arrested;  of  these,  only  1175,  or  a  little  over  2.6  per  cent,  were 
unable  to  read  or  write.  The  percentage  of  illiteracy  for  the 
entire  United  States  is  10.6  per  cent,  and  for  that  of  the  native 
whites  alone  4.6  per  cent. 

The  very  success  of  American  schools  goes  far  in  explaining 
the  mystery  of  our  exorbitant  demand  for  unskilled  labor.  In 
proportion  as  they  fulfill  their  mission  they  are  depriving  us  of 
the  rough  laborer.  The  boy  who  is  forbidden  by  the  New  York 
law  to  leave  school  until  he  is  fourteen  years  old  and  has  reached 
the  fifth  grammar  grade,  later  in  life  does  not  join  a  gang  that 
digs  sewers  and  subways.  Such  laborers  are  recruited  from  the 
illiterate,  or  nearly  illiterate  —  those  who  have  failed  in  the 
beginning  of  the  struggle  in  which  brains  count.  For  our  future 
supply  of  the  lower  grades  of  labor  we  must  depend  more  and  more 
upon  countries  with  a  poorer  school  system  than  ours. 

Lies  have  short  legs,  the  Florentine  tag  has  it,  but  the  Ital- 
ian is  still  accused  of  being  a  degenerate,  a  lazy  fellow  and 
a  pauper,  half  a  criminal,  a  present  danger,  and  a  serious  menace 
to  our  civilization.  If  there  is  a  substantial  basis  of  truth  in 
these  charges,  it  must  appear  very  clearly  in  Greater  New  York, 
which  is  now  disputing  Rome's  place  as  the  third  largest  Italian 
city  in  the  world.  Moreover,  New  York  contains  nearly 
two  fifths  of  all  the  Italians  in  the  United  States,  and  in  propor- 
tion to  its  size  it  is  the  least  prosperous  Italian  colony  in  the 
country,  and  shelters  a  considerable  part  of  our  immigrant 


failures  —  those  who  cannot  fall  into  step  with  the  march  of 
American  life. 

First,  as  to  the  paupers.  The  Italian  inhabitants  of  New  York 
City  number  nearly  450,000 ;  the  Irish,  somewhat  over  300,000. 
In  males  —  the  criminal  sex  —  the  Italians  outnumber  the  Irish 
about  two  to  one.  Yet  by  a  visit  to  the  great  almshouse  on 
Blackwell's  Island  and  an  examination  of  the  unpublished  record 
for  1904,  I  found  that  during  that  year  1564  Irish  had  been 
admitted,  and  only  16  Italians.  Mr.  James  Forbes,  the  chief 
of  the  Mendicancy  Department  of  the  Charity  Organization 
Society,  tells  me  that  he  has  never  seen  or  heard  of  an  Italian 
tramp.  As  for  begging,  between  July  i,  1904,  and  September  30, 
1905,  the  Mendicancy  Police  took  into  custody  519  Irish  and 
only  92  Italians.  Pauperism  has  a  close  relation  with  suicide, 
and  of  such  deaths  during  the  year  the  record  counts  89  Irish  and 
23  Italians.  The  Irish  have  always  supplied  much  more -than 
their  share  of  our  paupers ;  but  Irish  brawn  has  contributed  its 
full  part  to  the  prosperity  of  the  country ;  and  the  comparatively 
large  proportion  of  Irish  inmates  in  all  our  penal  institutions 
never  justified  the  charge  that  the  Irish  are  a  criminal  race,  or 
Irish  immigration  undesirable.  That  was  the  final  answer  to  the 
Know-Nothing  argument ! 

Nor  do  court  records  show  that  Italians  are  the  professional 
criminals  they  are  said  to  be.  Take  the  city  magistrates'  reports 
for  the  year  ending  December  31,  1901  —  the  latest  date  for 
which  all  the  necessary  data  are  available.  At  that  time,  using 
Dr.  Laidlaw's  estimate  of  additions  by  immigration  to  the 
population  of  the  city  to  May  i,  1902,  there  were  about  282,804 
Irish  and  200, 549  Italians  in  Greater  New  York.  If  the  proportion 
of  the  sexes  remained  unchanged  from  the  taking  of  the  census, 
there  were  117,599  Irish  males,  and  114,673  Italian.  This  near 
equality  of  the  criminal  sex  in  the  two  nationalities  makes  possible 
a  rough  measure  of  Italian  criminality. 

In  these  columns  of  crime  the  most  striking  fact  in  the  Italian's 
favor  is  a  remarkable  showing  of  sobriety.  During  the  year, 
7 281  "Irish  were  haled  into  court  accused  of  "intoxication"  and 
"  intoxication  and  disorderly  conduct,"  while  the  Italians  arrested 
on  the  same  charge  numbered  only  513.  With  the  exception  of 
the  Russian  Jews,  Italians  are  by  far  the  most  sober  of  all 


nationalities  in  New  York,  including  the  native  born.  Next, 
noticing  only  offenses  committed  with  particular  frequency,  the 
Italians  again  appear  at  a  pronounced  advantage  in :  Assaults 
(misdemeanor),  284  Irish  and  139  Italians;  disorderly  conduct, 
3278  Irish  and  1454  Italians;  larceny  (misdemeanor),  297 
Irish  and  174  Italians;  vagrancy,  ic^i^Irish  and  80  Italians. 
Insanity  is  here  listed  with  crime,  and  there  are  146  Irish  commit- 
ments to  35  Italian.  Irish  and  Italians  are  nearly  at  an  equality 
in  :  Burglaries,  63  Irish  and  57  Italians ;  and  larceny  (felony),  122 
Irish  and  94  Italians.  On  the  other  hand,  Italians  show  at  the 
worst  in :  Violation  of  corporation  ordinance  (chiefly  peddling 
without  a  license),  196  Irish  and  1169  Italians;  and  assault 
(felony),  75  Irish  and  155  Italians.  In  homicides,  quite  contrary 
to  the  popular  impression, -the  Italians  are  only  charged  with  the 
ratio  exactly  normal  to  their  numbers  after  taking  the  average 
per  100,000  for  the  whole  city,  while  the  Irish  are  accused  of 
nearly  two  and  one  half  times  their  quota :  Irish  50,  Italians  14. 
The  report  for  1903,  the  last  published,  after  important  changes 
effected  by  almost  two  years  of  immigration,  shows  an  unchanged 
proportional  variation  :  Irish  59,  Italians  21. 

The  one  serious  crime  to  which  Italians  are  prone  more 
than  other  men  is  an  unpremeditated  crime  of  violence .  This  is 
mostly  charged,  and  probably  with  entire  justice,  upon  the 
men  of  four  provinces,  and  Girgenti  in  Sicily  is  particularly 
specified.  It  is  generally  the  outcome  of  quarrels  among  them- 
selves, prompted  by  jealousy  and  suspected  treachery.  The 
Sicilians'  code  of  honor  is  an  antiquated  and  repellent  one,  but 
even  his  vendetta  is  less  ruthless  than  the  Kentucky  moun- 
taineer's. It  stops  at  the  grave.  Judged  in  the  mass,  Italians 
are  peaceable,  as  they  are  law-abiding.  The  exceptions  make  up 
the  national  criminal  record ;  and  as  there  is  a  French  or  English 
type  of  criminal,  so  there  is  a  Sicilian  type,  who  has  succeeded 
in  impressing  our  imaginations  with  some  fear  and  terror. 

The  Mafia  is  the  expression  of  Sicilian  criminality,  and  here, 
as  in  Italy,  the  methods  of  the  Sicilian  criminal  are  the  -same. 
For  some  of  his  crimes  he  is  more  apt  to  have  an  accompilre 
than  most  other  criminals.  But  there  is  no  sufficient  reason  for 
believing  that  a  Mafia,  organized  as  it  often  is  in  Italy,  a  definite 
society  of  the  lawless,  exists  anywhere  in  this  country.  No  one 


who  knows  the  different  Italian  colonies  well  will  admit  the 
possibility  of  its  existence.  The  authorities  at  police  head- 
quarters scout  the  idea.  As  with  the  Mafia,  so  with  the  Black 
Hand.  I  went  to  Sergeant  Petrosino,  who  is  said  to  know  every 
important  Italian  criminal  in  New  York.  He  disposed  very 
summarily  of  the  bogey  : 

As  far  as  they  can  be  traced,  threatening  letters  are  generally  a  hoax ; 
some  of  them  are  attempts  at  blackmail  by  inexperienced  criminals, 
who  have  had  the  idea  suggested  to  them  by  reading  about  the  Black 
Hand  in  the  sensational  papers ;  but  the  number  of  threatening  letters 
sent  with  the  deliberate  intention  of  using  violence  as  a  last  resort  to 
extort  money  is  ridiculously  small. 

It  is  important  that  two  or  three  other  truths  about  the 
Italian  should  be  known.  Like  all  their  immigrant  predecessors, 
Italians  profess  no  special  cult  of  soap  and  water;  and  here, 
too,  there  are  differences,  for  some  Italians  are  cleaner  than  others. 
Still,  cleanliness  is  the  rule  and  dirt  the  exception.  The  inspectors 
of  the  New  York  Tenement-House  Department  report  that  the 
tenements  in  the  Italian  quarters  are  in  the  best  condition  of 
all,  and  that  they  are  infinitely  cleaner  than  those  in  the  Jewish 
and  Irish  districts.  And  the  same  with  overcrowding.  One  of 
New  York's  typical  "Little  Italics"  is  inhabited  by  1075  Italian 
families  —  so  poor  that  only  twenty-six  of  them  pay  over  $19 
monthly  rent  —  and  yet,  when  a  complete  canvass  was  made  by 
the  Federation  of  Churches,  the  average  allotment  of  space  was 
found  to  be  one  room  to  1.7  persons.  Like  the  Germans  and  Irish 
of  the  fifties,  our  Italians  are  largely  poor,  ignorant  peasants 
when  they  come  to  us.  But  by  the  enforcement  of  the  recent 
law  our  present  immigrants  are  greatly  superior  physically  and 
morally  to  those  of  the  Know-No  thing  days.  The  difference  in 
criminal  records  is  partly  the  proof  of  a  better  law.  The  worst 
of  the  newer  tenements  are  better  than  the  best  of  the  old  kind, 
and  every  surrounding  is  more  sanitary.  Better  schools,  rec- 
reation piers,  public  baths,  playgrounds,  and  new  parks  are 
helping  the  Italian  children  of  the  tenements  to  develop  into 
healthy  and  useful  men  and  women. 

To  understand  our  Italians  we  need  to  get  close  enough  to  them 
to  see  that  they  are  of  the  same  human  pasta  —  to  use  their  word 


-as  the  rest  of  us.  They  need  no  defense  but  the  truth.  In 
spite  of  the  diverse  character  that  all  the  provinces  stamp  upon 
their  children,  our  southern  Italian  immigrants  still  have  many 
qualities  in  common.  Their  peculiar  defects  and  vices  have  been 
exaggerated  until  the  popular  notion  of  the  Italian  represents 
the  truth  in. about  the  same  way  that  the  London  stage  Yankee 
hits  off  the  average  American.  Besides,  as  the  Italian  Poor 
Richard  says,  "It's  a  bad  wool  that  can't  be  dyed,"  and  our 
Italians  have  their  virtues,  too,  which  should  be  better  known. 
Many  of  them  are,  it  is  true,  ignorant,  and  clannish,  and  con- 
servative. Their  humility  and  lack  of  self-reliance  are  often 
discouraging.  Many  think  that  a  smooth  and  diplomatic  false- 
hood'is  better  than  an  uncivil  truth,  and,  by  a  paradox,  a  liar 
is  not  necessarily  either  a  physical  or  a  moral  coward.  No  force 
can  make  them  give  evidence  against  one  another.  Generally 
they  have  little  orderliness,  small  civic  sense,  and  no  instinctive 
faith  in  the  law.  Some  of  them  are  hot-blooded  and  quick  to 
avenge  an  injury,  but  the  very  large  majority  are  gentle,  kindly, 
and  as  mild-tempered  as  oxen.  They  are  docile,  patient,  faithful. 
They  have  great  physical  vigor,  and  are  the  hardest  and  best 
laborers  we  have  ever  had,  if  we  are  to  believe  the  universal 
testimony  of  their  employers.  Many  are  well-mannered  and 
quick-witted;  all  are  severely  logical.  As  a  class  they  are 
emotional,  imaginative,  fond  of  music  and  art.  They  are  honest, 
saving,  industrious,  temperate,  and  so  exceptionally  moral  that 
two  years  ago  the  Secretary  of  the  Italian  Chamber  of  Commerce 
in  San  Francisco  was  able  to  boast  that  the  police  of  that  city  had 
never  yet  found  an  Italian  woman  of  evil  character.  Even  in 
New  York  (and  I  have  my  information  from  Mr.  Forbes,  of  the 
Charity  Organization  Society)  Italian  prostitution  was  entirely 
unknown  until  by  our  corrupt  police  it  was  colonized  as  scien- 
tifically as  a  culture  of  bacteria  made  by  a  biologist ;  and  to-day 
it  is  less  proportionately  than  that  of  any  other  nationality 
within  the  limits  of  the  greater  city.  More  than  750,000  Italian 
immigrants  have  come  to  us  within  the  last  four  years,  and  during 
that  entire  time  only  a  single  woman  of  them  has  been  ordered 
deported  charged  with  prostitution. 

So  far  from  being  a  scum  of  Italy's  paupers  and  criminals,  our 
Italian  immigrants  are  the  very  flower  of  her  peasantry.   They 


bring  healthy  bodies  and  a  prodigious  will  to  work.  They  have  an 
intense  love  for  their  fatherland,  and  a  fondness  for  old  customs  : 
and  both  are  deepened  by  the  hostility  they  meet  and  the  gloom  of 
the  tenements  that  they  are  forced  to  inhabit.  The  sunshine, 
the  simplicity,  the  happiness  of  the  old  outdoor  ways  are  gone, 
and  often  you  will  hear  the  words,  "Non  c'e  piacere  nella  vita" 
-  there  is  no  pleasure  in  life  here.  But  yet  they  come,  driven 
from  the  land  of  starvation  to  a  land  of  plenty.  Each  year  about 
one  third  of  the  great  host  of  industrial  recruits  from  Italy, 
breaking  up  as  it  lands  into  little  groups  of  twos  and  threes,  and 
invading  the  tenements  almost  unnoticed,  settles  in  the  different 
colonies  of  New  York.  This  is  a  mighty,  silent  influence  for  the 
preservation  of  the  Italian  spirit  and  tradition. 

But  there  are  limits  to  the  building  of  an  Italian  city  on 
American  soil.  New  York  tenement  houses  are  not  adapted  to 
life  as  it  is  organized  in  the  hill  villages  of  Italy,  and  a  change  has 
come  over  every  relation  of  life.  The  crowded  living  is  strange  and 
depressing ;  instead  of  work  accompanied  by  song  in  orangeries 
and  vineyards,  there  is  silent  toil  in  the  canons  of  a  city  street ; 
instead  of  the  splendid  and  expostulating  carabiniere  there  is  the 
rough  force  of  the  New  York  policeman  to  represent  authority. 
There  is  the  diminished  importance  of  the  church,  and,  in  spite 
of  their  set  ways,  there  is  different  eating  and  drinking,  sleep- 
ing and  waking.  A  different  life  breeds  different  habits,  and  dif- 
ferent habits  with  American  surroundings  effect  a  radical  change 
in  the  man.  It  is  difficult  for  the  American  to  realize  this. 
He  sees  that  the  signs  and  posters  of  the  colony  are  all  in  Ital- 
ian; he  hears  the  newsboys  cry  "Progresso,"  "Araldo,"  "Bolle- 
tino"  ;  he  hears  peddlers  shout  out  in  their  various  dialects  the 
names  of  strange-looking  vegetables  and  fish.  The  whole 
district  seems  so  Italianized  and  cut  off  from  the  general 
American  life  that  it  might  as  well  be  one  of  the  ancient  walled 
towns  of  the  Apennines.  He  thinks  that  he  is  transported  to 
Italy,  and  moralizes  over  the  " unchanging  colony."  But  the 
greenhorn  from  Fiumefreddo  is  in  another  world.  Everything 
is  strange  to  him;  and  I  have  repeatedly  heard  Italians  say 
that  for  a  long  time  after  landing  they  could  not  distinguish 
between  an  Italian  who  had  been  here  four  or  five  years  and  a 
native  American. 


Refractory  thaugh  the  grown-up  immigrant  may  often  be  to  the 
spirit  of  our  Republic,  the  children  almost  immediately  become 
Americans.  The  boy  takes  no  interest  in  "Mora,"  a  guessing 
match  played  with  the  fingers,  or  "Boccie,"  a  kind  of  bowls  — 
his  father's  favorite  games.  Like  any  other  American  boy,  he 
plays  marbles,  "I  spy  the  wolf,"  and,  when  there  is  no  policeman 
about,  baseball.  Little  girls  skip  the  rope  to  the  calling  of 
"Pepper,  salt,  mustard,  vinegar."  The  "Lunga  Tela"  is  for- 
gotten, and  our  equivalent,  "London  bridge  is  falling  down," 
and  "All  around  the  mulberry-bush,"  sound  through  the  streets 
of  the  colony  on  summer  evenings.  You  are  struck  with  the  deep 
significance  of  such  a  sight  if  you  walk  on  Mott  Street,  where 
certainly  more  than  half  of  the  men  and  women  who  crowd  every 
block  can  speak  no  English  at  all,  and  see,  as  I  have  seen,  a 
full  dozen  of  small  girls,  not  more  than  five  or  six  years  old, 
marching  along,  hand  in  hand,  singing  their  kindergarten  song, 
"My  little  sister  lost  her  shoe."  Through  these  children  the 
common  school  is  leavening  the  whole  mass,  and  an  old  story  is 
being  retold. 

Like  the  Italians,  the  Irish  and  the  Germans  had  to  meet  dis- 
trust and  abuse  when  they  came  to  do  the  work  of  the  rough 
day-laborer.  The  terrors  and  excesses  of  Native  Americanism  and 
Know-Nothingism  came  and  went,  but  the  prejudice  remained. 
Yet  the  Irish  and  Germans  furnished  good  raw  material  for 
citizenship,  and  quickly  responded  to  American  influences. 
They  dug  cellars  and  carried  bricks  and  mortar ;  they  sewered, 
graded,  and  paved  the  streets  and  built  the  railroads.  Then 
slowly  the  number  of  skilled  mechanics  among  them  increased. 
Many  acquired  a  competence  and  took  a  position  of  some  dignity 
in  the  community,  and  Irish  and  Germans  moved  up  a  little  in  the 
social  scale.  They  were  held  in  greater  respect  when,  in  the  dark 
days  of  the  Civil  War,  we  saw  that  they  yielded  to  none  in  self-sac- 
rificing devotion  to  the  country.  Thousands  of  Germans  fought 
for  the  Union  besides  those  who  served  under  Sigel.  Thousands 
of  Irishmen  died  for  the  cause  besides  those  of  the  "Old  Sixty- 
ninth."  "Dutch"  and  "Mick"  began  to  go  out  of  fashion  as 
nicknames,  and  the  seventies  had  not  passed  before  it  was  often 
said  among  the  common  people  that  mixed  marriages  between 
Germans  or  Irish  and  natives  were  usually  happy  marriages. 


From  the  very  bottom,  Italians  are  climbing  up  the  same  rungs 
of  the  same  social  and  industrial  ladder.  But  it  is  still  a  secret  that 
they  are  being  gradually  turned  into  Americans ;  and,  for  all  its 
evils,  the  city  colony  is  a  wonderful  help  in  the  process.  The 
close  contact  of  American  surroundings  eventually  destroys  the 
foreign  life  and  spirit,  and  of  this  New  York  gives  proof.  Only 
two  poor  fragments  remain  of  the  numerous  important  German 
and  Irish  colonies  that  were  flourishing  in  the  city  twenty-five 
or  thirty  years  ago;  while  the  ancient  settled  Pennsylvania 
Dutch,  thanks  to  their  isolation,  are  not  yet  fully  merged  in  the 
great  citizen  body.  And  so,  in  the  city  colony,  Italians  are 
becoming  Americans.  Legions  of  them,  who  never  intended  to 
remain  here  when  they  landed,  have  cast  in  their  lot  definitely 
with  us ;  and  those  who  have  already  become  Americanized,  but 
no  others,  are  beginning  to  intermarry  with  our  people.  The  mass 
of  them  are  still  laborers,  toiling  like  ants  in  adding  to  the  wealth 
of  the  country ;  but  thousands  are  succeeding  in  many  branches 
of  trade  and  manufacture.  The  names  of  Italians  engaged  in 
business  in  the  United  States  fill  a  special  directory  of  over  five 
hundred  pages.  Their  real  estate  holdings  and  bank  deposits 
aggregate  enormous  totals.  Their  second  generation  is  already 
crowding  into  all  the  professions,  and  we  have  Italian  teachers, 
dentists,  architects,  engineers,  doctors,  lawyers,  and  judges. 

But  more  important  than  any  material  success  is  their  loyalty 
to  the  nation  of  their  adoption.  Yet  with  this  goes  an  undying 
love  for  their  native  land.  There  are  many  types  of  these  new 
citizens.  I  have  in  mind  an  Italian  banker  who  will  serve  for  one. 
His  Americanism  is  enthusiastic  and  breezily  Western.  He  has 
paid  many  visits  to  the  land  of  his  birth,  and  delights  in  its  music, 
art,  and  literature.  He  finds  an  almost  sacred  inspiration  in  the 
glories  of  its  history.  Beginning  in  extreme  poverty,  by  his  own 
unaided  efforts  he  has  secured  education  and  wealth;  by  his 
services  to  the  city  and  State  in  which  he  lives  he  has  won  public 
esteem.  Perhaps  no  other  Italian  has  achieved  so  brilliant  a 
success.  But  as  a  citizen  he  is  no  more  typical  or  hopeful  an 
example  of  the  Italian  who  becomes  an  American  than  Giovanni 
Aloi,  a  street-sweeper  of  my  acquaintance. 

This  honest  spazzino  of  the  white  uniform  sent  a  son  to  Cuba 
in  the  Spanish  War;  boasts  that  he  has  not  missed  a  vote  in 


fifteen  years ;  in  his  humble  way  did  valiant  service  in  his  political 
club  against  the  "boss"  of  New  York  during  the  last  campaign. 
And  yet  he  declares  that  we  have  no  meats  or  vegetables  with 
"  the  flavor  or  substance  "  of  those  in  the  old  country ;  reproaches 
us  severely  for  having  "no  place  which  is  such  a  pleasure  to  see  as 
Naples,"  and  swears  by  "Torqua-ato  Ta-ass"  as  the  greatest  of 
poets,  though  he  only  knows  four  lines  of  the  Gerusalemme.  Side 
by  side  over  the  fireplace  in  his  living  room  are  two  unframed 
pictures  tacked  to  the  wall.  Little  paper  flags  of  the  two  countries 
are  crossed  over  each.  One  is  a  chromo  of  Garibaldi  in  his  red 
shirt.  The  other  is  a  newspaper  supplement  portrait  of  Lincoln. 
A  man  like  Giovanni  Aloi,  yearning  for  the  home  of  his  youth, 
sometimes  goes  back  to  Italy,  but  he  soon  returns.  Un- 
consciously, in  his  very  inmost  being,  he  has  become  an  American, 
and  the  prophecy  of  Bayard  Taylor's  great  ode  is  fulfilled. 
Their  tongue  melts  in  ours.  Their  race  unites  to  the  strength  of 
ours.  For  many  thousands  of  them  their  Italy  now  lies  by  the 
western  brine. 



WITH  the  coming  of  the  eighties  the  original  contingent  of 
Bohemians  and  Poles  began  to  be  overlaid  by  a  much 
larger  volume  of  newcomers  differing  in  various  important  re- 
spects from  the  old.  In  the  first  place,  the  later  Slavic  immi- 
grants were  largely  of  nationalities  previously  little  represented 
in  America.  Since  up  to  1899  the  American  immigration  data 
are  classified  only  by  " country  of  last  permanent  residence" 
and  not  by  nationality,  it  is  not  possible  to.  get  any  precise 
measure  of  this  change  in  the  make-up  of  the  Slavic  stream. 

Neither  can  the  beginning  of  the  movement  to  America  among 
the  newer  immigrant  nationalities  —  Slovaks  and  Ruthenians, 
Slovenians  and  Croatians,  Bulgarians,  Serbians  and  Russians  — 
be  dated  in  any  hard  and  fast  way.1  Apparently,  as  already 
said,  the  impulse  spread  from  the  Poles  in  Germany  eastward 
to  their  brothers  in  Galicia  in  the  latter  part  of  the  seventies, 
and  to  the  Poles  in  Russia  somewhat  later.  The  Slovaks  began 
to  come  in  considerable  numbers  in  the  early  eighties,  and  the 
Ruthenians  at  about  the  same  time. 

These  three  nationalities  converge  in  the  eastern  Carpathian 
district,  and  more  or  less  interpenetrate  one  another ;  and 
emigration  to  America  having  once  started,  it  was  natural 
that  so  contagious  a  movement  should  spread  through  the  whole 
Carpathian  group.  Moreover,  among  all  these  peoples  trade 
is  largely  in  the  hands  of  the  Jews,  who  are  apt  to  have  inter- 
national affiliations,  and  it  seems  often  to  have  happened  that 

1  Discussion  of  the  origin  and  spread  of  the  emigration  movement  among  the 
first  four  of  these  nationalities  will  be  found  in  the  appropriate  chapters  in  Part  I, 
of  "  Our  Slavic  Fellow-Citizens  "  but  for  convenience  it  is  resumed  here  as  a  whole. 



some  enterprising  Jew  first  among  his  fellow  townspeople  became 
aware  of  the  land  of  promise  across  the  Atlantic,  explored  and 
reported  on  it,  and  thus  set  the  stream  of  immigration  flowing. 
The  South  Slavs  began  to  come  to  America  somewhat  later. 
Though  individual  Slovenians  came  very  early,  as  already  men- 
tioned, it  was  not  till  about  1892  that  the  movement  became 
noticeably  important  among  them.  In  the  Croatian  group,  the 
Dalmatians,  sailors  and  wanderers,  had  sent  now  and  then  an 
immigrant  from  very  early  times ;  but  it  was  not  till  toward  the 
middle  of  the  nineties  that  Croatians,  and  especially  Croatians 
from  the  country  back  of  the  coast,  began  coming  in  numbers. 
Serbians  and  Bulgarians  are  still  more  recent  comers,  numerous 
only  since  1902  or  so,  but  growing  rapidly.  As  to  Russians,  of 
66,000  in  the  last  eleven  years  (1899  to  1909  inclusive),  over 
nine  tenths  came  after  1902  and  over  two  thirds  in  the  last  three 


The  grounds  of  the  earlier  immigration  may  be  said  to  have 
been,  roughly,  the  opportunity  of  acquiring  farming  land  cheaply, 
if  not  gratuitously,  and  in  a  less  degree  the  desire  for  the  greater 
political  and  religious  freedom  promised  by  America.  In  the 
course  of  time  both  these  grounds  lost  their  importance.  As  the 
supply  of  desirable  land  to  be  had  on  easy  terms  diminished, 
this  incentive  to  immigration  grew  weaker,  and  lessening  political 
unrest  in  Western  Europe  allayed  the  other.  On  the  other  hand, 
the  great  industrial  development  of  the  United  States,  following 
after  the  Civil  War,  and  especially  after  the  hard  times  in  the 
seventies,  meant  a  great  increase  in  the  demand  for  labor.  The 
Teutonic  element  of  the  older  immigration,  to  which  the  Bohe- 
mian was  very  similar,  was  not  looking  primarily  for  wage  jobs, 
but  for  independence,  especially  the  independence  of  the  farm 
owner.  The  same  was  largely  true  of  the  British  immigrants, 
English,  Welsh,  and  Scotch.  Besides,  neither  belonged,  in  any 
sense,  to  the  class  of  cheap  labor.  The  Irish  alone  were  not 
enough  to  supply  the  demand  for  "hands,"  and  French-Cana- 
dians, while  an  important  element  in  New  England,  have  not 
been  numerous  elsewhere.  Italians  and  Slavs,  proving  most 
available,  were  consequently  called  in  to  meet  the  want. 


These  newer  groups  of  Slavic  immigrants  were  mainly  drawn 
from  more  primitive  districts  than  the  earlier  groups,  districts 
where  the  population  was  less  in  touch  with  Western  Europe. 
They  generally  came,  not  intending  to  take  up  farms  and  settle, 
but  hoping  to  earn  money  to  send  back  to  their  homes,  to  which 
they  planned  to  return.  To  this  end  they  sought  the  best-paid 
work  that  they  could  find  in  mines,  foundries,  factories,  and  else- 
where. A  large  proportion  of  both  the  old  and  the  new  comers 
were  peasants,  that  is,  small  independent  farmers ;  but  among 
the  new,  the  proportion  of  men  possessing  trades  was  less,  and 
mere  laborers  were  more  numerous. 


Historically,  the  American  origin  of  the  more  recent  immigra- 
tion, so  far  as  such  a  movement  can  have  a  specific  origin,  seems 
to  have  been  the  desire  of  certain  Pennsylvania  anthracite  mine 
owners  to  replace  the  employes  that  they  found  hard  to  deal  with, 
and  especially  the  Irish,  with  cheaper  and  more  docile  material. 
Strikes  were  a  frequent  source  of  friction,  the  Molly  Maguire 
affair  had  caused  great  bitterness,  and  it  was  natural  that 
employers  should  be  on  the  lookout  for  new  sources  of  labor 
supply.  In  a  number  of  places  these  raw  recruits  of  industry 
seem  to  have  been  called  in  as  the  result  of  a  strike,  and  there 
probably  were  plenty  of  instances  of  sending  agents  abroad  to 
hire  men  or  of  otherwise  inducing  labor  to  immigrate  either  under 
contract  or  with  an  equivalent  understanding.  These  proceedings 
were,  of  course,  perfectly  legal  up  to  1885,  when  the  law  for- 
bidding the  importation  of  labor  under  contract  was  passed. 

One  story  is  that  the  first  comers  were  brought  over  for  a 
certain  mine  operator  at  Drifton,  Pennsylvania,  through  an 
"Austrian"  foreman.  I  have  never  been  able  to  verify  the  story 
nor  to  date  it.  I  was  interested  to  run  across  a  Slovak  hatter 
in  Bartfield,  Hungary,  who  emigrated  about  1880,  and  told  of 
having  gone  "to  Drifton,  where  there  was  an  Austrian  foreman," 
who,  however,  does  not  appear  to  have  had  anything  to  do  with 
his  emigrating.1 

1  Industrial  Commission,  Vol.  XV  (1901),  page  32. 


Mr.  Powderly,  formerly  Commissioner  of  Immigration,  testified 
before  the  Industrial  Commission : 

I  believe  in  1869,  during  a  miners'  strike  which  was  then  in  prog- 
ress, a  man  who  was  connected  with  one  of  the  coal  companies  made 
the  statement  that  in  order  to  defeat  the  men  in  their  demands  it 
would  be  necessary  to  bring  cheap  labor  from  Europe,  and  shortly 
after  that,  miners  were  noticed  coming  to  the  anthracite  region  in 
large  numbers  from  Italy,  Hungary,  Russia,  and  other  far-off  lands. 

It  will  be  seen  that  Mr.  Powderly  mentions  a  comparatively 
early  date  at  which  the  importation  of  workmen  under  contract 
was  in  no  way  forbidden.  But  even  then  such  a  course,  while 
legal,  would  have  been  unpopular  among  workingmen,  and  prob- 
ably always  more  or  less  sub  rosa.  This  may  be  one  reason  why 
it  is  very  hard  to  get  any  definite  information  about  these 
matters  ;  but  indeed,  on  both  sides  of  the  water,  the  doings  of  less 
than  a  generation  ago  are  surprisingly  hard  to  ascertain. 


In  Pennsylvania  the  great  early  goal  appears  to  have  been,  as 
already  indicated,  the  anthracite  coal  region  of  the  eastern  part 
of  the  state.  The  Poles  seem  to  have  been  the  first  to  come,  and 
right  on  their  heels  came  the  Slovaks.  An  informant  from  Hazle- 
ton,  a  district  where  they  appeared  quite  early,  gave  me,  in  1904, 
the  following  account  of  their  first  arrival : 

They  began  to  come  about  twenty  years  ago;  a  few  stray  ones 
came  earlier.  Nowadays  not  so  many  are  coming,  but  at  one  time 
they  came  in  batches,  shipped  by  the  carload  to  the  coal  fields. 
When  they  arrived  they  seemed  perfectly  aimless.  It  was  hard  for 
them  to  make  themselves  understood,  and  they  would  be  sent  to  a  man 
who  kept  a  saloon  on  Wyoming  street.  They  would  land  at  the 
depot,  and  at  the  beginning  they  would  spend  the  first  night  on  the 
platform.  I  have  quartered  many  in  my  stable  on  the  hay.  One 
pulled  out  a  prayer-book  and  read  a  prayer.  They  were  mainly 
Catholics,  but  some  were  Protestants,  though  we  did  not  know  that 
till  later.  Sometimes  they  would  go  up  into  the  brush  and  build  a 
fire  and  sleep,  or  if  it  was  too  cold,  just  sit  there  on  the  ground.  As 
soon  as  they  had  earned  something,  or  if  they  had  a  little  money,  they 
would  go  to  the  baker's  or  get  meat  of  any  cheap  sort,  regardless  of 


its  condition.  Many  were  so  poor  that  they  came  in  old  army  suits,1 
their  belongings  all  in  one  big  bundle.  At  first  it  was  only  men  that 


An  interesting  account  of  the  coming  of  the  first  Poles  to  the 
Connecticut  valley  farms  of  Massachusetts  tells  how  here,  as  in 
Pennsylvania,  the  influx  was  in  direct  .response  to  a  demand  on 
the  part  of  employers  : 2 

It  was  about  twenty  years  ago  that  the  Poles  were  first  brought  to 
the  Connecticut  Valley.  In  the  particular  section  under  consideration, 
the  farmers  could  not  hire  men  and  boys  to  work  on  their  farms,  or 
girls  and  women  to  assist  in  the  household  work.  The  demand  was 
pressing.  Charles  Parsons  of  Northampton,  who  has  since  died,  then 
a  pushing,  aggressive  farmer,  conceived  the  idea  of  going  to  New  York 
and  Castle  Garden  and  there  securing  enough  of  the  strong  and  sturdy 
immigrants  to  meet  the  demand  for  farm  and  domestic  labor. 

The  business  grew  rapidly.  Mr.  Parsons  made  weekly  trips. 
Agents  at  New  York  told  the  incoming  immigrants  as  pleasing  stories 
as  was  necessary  to  make  the  Pole  see  the  Connecticut  Valley  farms 
as  the  promised  land.  Being  new  and  green  to  America,  the  Pole  at 
first  paid  the  highest  price,  and  was  given  the  small  end  of  the  bargain. 
The  agent  in  New  York  had  to  have  a  fee  for  his  trouble.  Mr.  Parsons 
had  to  advance  the  money  to  bring  the  Pole  to  the  farm,  and,  of  course, 
he  had  to  have  a  profit  also.  This  meant,  as  a  rule,  that  the  immigrant 
was  practically  mortgaged  for  $10  when  he  commenced  work.  It 
was,  of  course,  to  be  taken  out  of  the  wages  to  be  paid  him  for  his 
labor.  The  contract  was  not  particularly  bad  for  either  the  farmer 
or  laborer.  The  men  came  first,  and  were  followed  by  women  and 
children.  How  many  Mr.  Parsons  took  from  New  York  cannot  be 
stated.  The  number  must  have  been  in  the  thousands. 

Next  Francis  Clapp  of  South  Deerfield  took  up  the  business. 
Mr.  Clapp  is  one  of  the  substantial  farmers  of  the  Mill  River 
district  in  South  Deerfield.  He  tells  his  story  in  this  way : 

I  began  with  the  Poles  in  1889.  I  continued  it  for  six  years  and  then 
it  was  no  longer  profitable.  The  Poles  had  learned  by  this  time  to 

1  Some  of  the  peasant  costumes  might  easily  be  mistaken  for  some  sort  of  uni- 

2  Boston  Daily  Globe,  June  29,  1902. 


find  their  own  places.  In  many  cases  their  relatives,  who  had  been 
working  in  this  country  for  several  years,  sent  for  their  friends. 
They  secured  places  for  them.  During  the  six  years  I  secured  places 
for  more  than  three  thousand.  I  sent  them  to  places  in  each  of  the  six 
New  England  states,  men  and  women,  boys  and  girls.  I  treated  them 
well.  I  found  many  of  them  suspicious,  but  they  were  "  square"  as  a 
rule.  The  yarns  told  them  by  some  of  the  New  York  agents  and  by 
others  who  desired  to  make  money  out  of  them,  at  times  caused 
trouble.  One  day  I  brought  eighteen  to  South  Deerfield.  The  New 
York  agent  had  told  them  that  they  had  friends  in  the  vicinity.  Of 
course  I  knew  nothing  of  this.  I  did  not  have  an  interpreter,  and  we 
could  not  talk.  They  realized  they  had  been  deceived,  and  they 
determined  to  go  back  to  New  York.  I  succeeded  in  keeping  only 
three.  The  other  fifteen  walked  back  to  New  York.  They  were 
entirely  without  money.  They  were  frightened,  and  went  in  a  drove. 

I  had  a  license  from  the  town  to  transact  the  business.  I  secured 
a  girl  as  an  interpreter  who  spoke  seven  different  dialects.  She  could 
also  do  as  much  work  in  the  house  as  any  girl  we  ever  had.  She  went 
back  to  New  York  after  a  time,  married,  and  went  to  work  in  a  cigar 
factory.  While  they  were  waiting  for  places  if  such  happened  to  be 
the  case  or  for  other  reasons  they  were  quartered  at  my  farm. 

They  seem,  when  they  first  come,  to  be  entirely  without  nerves. 
They  sleep  well  under  all  conditions.  Their  appetites  are  enormous. 
Of  course  they  are  given  only  coarse  food.  I  have  known  the  men  to 
eat  from  ten  to  fifteen  potatoes  at  a  meal,  together  with  meat  and 
bread.  They  are  very  rarely  sick. 

They  make  good  citizens.  Almost  without  exception  they  are 
Roman  Catholics,  and  faithful  to  their  obligations.  They  are  willing 
to  pay  the  price  to  succeed.  That  price  is  to  work  hard  and  save. 
They  do  not  keep  their  money  about  them.  They  place  it  in  the 
savings  banks.  When  I  first  went  to  New  York  to  get  them  it  cost 
the  farmer  nothing.  The  Pole  had  to  pay  the  fee  for  the  New  York 
agent,  the  money  which  I  advanced  to  pay  his  fare,  and  other  expenses, 
and  the  profit  I  made.  Then,  as  they  grew  to  know  the  custom  better, 
the  Pole  paid  half  and  the  farmer  half.  Now  the  farmer  has  to  pay 
the  whole  when  the  men  come  from  a  distance. 

As  a  rule,  the  men  are  hired  for  a  season  of  eight  months,  the 
time  of  outdoor  work  on  the  farms.  At  first  the  contracts,  on  an 
average,  were  about  $80  for  the  eight  months.  The  Poles  were  given 
little  money,  only  as  they  needed  it.  They  had  to  work  off  the  mort- 
gage of  $10  which  they  had  contracted.  They  really  needed  little 
money.  They  were  fed  and  lodged,  and,  as  a  rule,  they  had  sufficient 


clothing,  for  they  had  little  occasion  to  dress  finely.  There  was  a 
chance,  too,  that  if  they  had  money  they  might  leave  the  former  with- 
out help,  and  so  the  settlement  came  at  the  end  of  the  contract  period. 

Roman  Skibisky  is  a  young  Pole  who  is  quite  a  daring  speculator 
as  well  as  farmer.  He  lives  in  what  was  formerly  one  of  the  fine  old 
mansions  on  the  broad  main  street  of  Sunderland.  For  several  years 
he  has  been  plunging  more  or  less  in  onions.  Last  fall  he  made  his 
heaviest  strike.  All  told,  he  purchased  about  6500  bushels  of  onions. 
They  cost  him  on  an  average  less  than  forty  cents  a  bushel.  He  kept 
them  until  this  spring  and  sold  them  at  an  average  of  $1.10  a  bushel. 

Taking  out  the  cost  of  cold  storage  and  insurance  he  netted  more 
than  $4000  on  an  investment  of  about  $2600.  At  one  time  he  could 
have  sold  his  entire  holdings  at  $1.25  a  bushel.  His  success  has  not 
given  him  a  big  head.  He  works  barefooted  in  the  field  this  season 
just  as  though  he  had  not  made  a  rich  strike.  When  Mrs.  Skibisky 
was  asked  what  she  likes  in  this  country  she  replied,  "Me  happy 
here."  They  have  three  children. 


Just  as  in  emigration  districts  in  Europe  one  hears  of  more 
than  one  " first  man  to  go  to  America,"  so  on  this  side  there 
doubtless  have  been  many  "first  comers."  Sporadic  and  exper- 
imental trials  of  the  land  of  the  dollar,  both  induced  and  sponta- 
neous, have  opened  new  fields  to  immigrants.  As  a  spider 
throws  his  first  thin  thread  across,  and,  his  anchorage  secured, 
gradually  thickens  and  confirms  it,  so  each  immigrant  who  gets 
an  economic  foothold  strengthens  the  bridge  between  the  coun- 
tries and  draws  others  over.  Thus  among  the  Slavs  the  streams 
of  immigration,  once  set  flowing,  have  made  paths  for  them- 
selves, and  constantly  increased  in  volume.  As  one  labor  market 
becomes  supplied,  new  openings  are  sought  and  found. 


The  character  of  the  later  Slavic  influx  naturally  produced 
a  territorial  distribution  quite  different  from  that  of  the  older 
-  movement.  The  new  immigrants,  guided  in  the  main  by  the 
chances  of  good  wages  rather  than  of  cheap  land,  rapidly  found 
their  way  to  the  points  where  there  was  a  demand  for  their 
undaunted  though  unskilled  labor.  Once  within  the  country,  no 


contract  labor  law  impeded  the  employers'  agents,  and  men  were 
drafted  off  to  different  places  according  as  hands  were  needed 
in  mine,  coke  oven,  rolling  mill,  lumber  camp,  or,  less  typically, 
factory.  Consequently,  while  the  immigrants  of  the  preceding 
period  had  mainly  gone  to  the  farming  country  lying  north  and 
west  of  Chicago,  these  later  comers,  answering  primarily  the 
call  for  labor  in  mines  and  related  industries,  found  their  center 
of  gravity  in  Pennsylvania,  and  spread  thence  through  the 
industrial  districts,  especially  the  industrial  districts  of  the 
middle  West,  and  above  all  to  the  various  mining  and  metal- 
working  centers  throughout  the  country. 


But  though  during  this  period  agricultural  settlement1  has 
been  overshadowed,  it  has  by  no  means  been  lacking,  especially 
among  the  Bohemians  and  the  Poles.  It  has  taken  place  mainly 
in  the  group  of  states  west  of  the  Great  Lakes ;  but  in  the  Connect- 
icut Valley,  and  elsewhere  in  the  East,  the  number  of 
"Polanders"  who  have  bought  land  is  also  considerable.  I  have 
been  surprised  to  see  in  a  Bohemian  paper  in  New  York  the  space 
devoted  to  advertisement  of  Connecticut  and  other  farms. 


This  period  has  also  seen  the  formation  of  large  urban  colonies 
of  different  nationalities,  in  various  cities  large  and  small, 
colonies  which  often  have  very  curious  and  interesting  distinctive 
features.2  Such  a  movement  as  this  later  Slavic  immigration  is, 

1  Cf.  Chapter  XV  of  "  Our  Slavic  Fellow-Citizens  "  for  a  discussion  of  this 
phase  of  settlement. 

2Cf.,  for  the  Bohemians  of  Chicago,  Mrs.  Humpal-Zeman's  account  in  "Hull 
House  Maps  and  Papers,"  and  Dr.  Alice  Masaryk's  article,  "The  Bohemians  in 
Chicago,"  in  Charities,  Vol.  XIII,  pages  206-210  (December  3,  1904).  On  Bohe- 
mians in  New  York  see  Dr.  Jane  E.  Robbins,  "The  Bohemian  Women  in  New 
York,"  ibid  ,  pages  194-196.  In  the  same  issue  of  Charities  Miss  Laura  B.  Garret 
has  "Notes  on  the  Poles  in  Baltimore,"  and  Miss  Sayles  an  article  on  "Housing 
and  Social  Conditions  in  a  Slavic  Neighborhood,"  which  deals  with  Jersey  City. 
Another  study  of  conditions  among  the  Slavs  of  Jersey  City  by  Miss  E.  T.  White  has 
been  published  by  Whittier  House.  Of  these  various  accounts  those  by  the  two 
Bohemian  women  first  mentioned  are  much  the  most  valuable  to  those  who  are 
seeking  true  understanding  of  the  life  of  such  a  group  as  is  there  studied. 



however,  hard  to  deal  with  historically.  It  has  little  coherent 
history,  and  what  it  has  is  still  too  much  in  the  making  to  be 
easily  studied  or  presented.  .  .  . 


1890,  AND  1900.     [UNITED  STATES   CENSUS] 








I  I     ^26 

62  A.1Z 

I4C  714. 


48  Z<7 

14.7  4.4.O 

•28?  4.O7 






210  82Q 

622  806 

i  18$  64.$ 

Total  per  cent  of  foreign  born 


6  8 

I  -2   A 

The  period  since  1880  has  seen  not  only  changes  in  the  racial 
and  economic  character  of  the  Slavs  coming  to  the  United  States 
but  a  vast  increase  in  their  numbers.  A  rough  indication  of  this 
is  the  large  share  of  the  foreign-born  population  that  comes  to 
be  made  up  of  natives  of  Austria-Hungary  (including  Bohemia), 
Poland,  and  Russia.  As  shown  in  the  Table  above,  in  1880 
they  were  3.2  per  cent  of  the  total  foreign-born ;  in  1890,  6.8  per 
cent ;  in  1900,  13.4  per  cent.  In  absolute  numbers  they  increased 
in  the  twenty  years  over  sixfold,  from  something  over  200,000  to 
nearly  1,400,000. 

If  we  consider,  not  population  as  shown  by  the  census,  but  the 
count  of  arriving  immigrants,  the  increase  is  even  more  striking. 
In  the  last  decade  of  our  previous  period,  1871-1880,  Austria- 
Hungary  and  Russia1  sent  us  4.5  per  cent  of  all  immigrants ;  in 
the  decade  1900-1909  they  sent 'almost  43  per  cent. 

1  Austria- Hungary  presumably  includes  Bohemia  and  Austrian  Poland  (Galicia) ; 
Russia  includes  Russian  Poland.  That  is,  all  Poland  except  German  Poland  is 
included.  It  must  of  course  be  remembered  that  these  groups  of  immigrants  are 
very  mixed  racially. 



Up  to  1899  the  best  material  that  we  have  consists  of  the 
figures,  supplied  by  the  immigration  authorities,  as  to  the 
countries  from  which  immigration  is  drawn.  After  that  year 
the  immigration  figures  are  also  classified  according  to  "races 
and  peoples"  l  and  these  not  only  give  us  direct  information, 
but  throw  light  on  the  racial  significance  of  the  figures  for  the 
different  geographical  contingents,  which  are  all  that  we  have 
to  go  by  for  the  years  before  1899.  We  find  that  during  the 
decade  1899-1908,  the  immigration  from  Austria-Hungary  was 
six  tenths  Slavic.  Since  there  is  no  reason  to  think  that  this 
proportion  would  be  less  in  earlier  years,  and  since  for  the  same 
decade  69  per  cent  of  all  Slavic  immigrants  came  to  us  from  Aus- 
tria-Hungary (and  for  earlier  periods  this  proportion  would 
doubtless  be  still  larger),  the  Austro-Hungarian  contribution  to 
our  immigration  may  be  taken  as  a  rough  index  of  the  incoming 
Slavs.  .  .  . 

The  year  1880,  which  we  have  taken  as  our  landmark,  shows 
a  sudden  rise,  the  numbers  of  that  year  being  almost  three  times 
those  of  the  preceding.  From  this  time  onward  there  is  an  in- 
crease, which  is,  however,  sharply  checked  in  1893  by  the  de- 
pression then  beginning.  It  was  not  till  1900  that  the  numbers 
reacted  from  this  to  their  level  of  1892.  The  culminating  point 
up  to  date  was  reached  in  1907,  after  which  the  recent  panic 
again  lessened  the  influx,  and  started  a  new  period  of  decline, 
though  a  brief  one,  since  the  figures  for  1909  indicated  a  re- 
covery from  168,509  to  1 70, 1 9 1.2 


The  change  spoken  of  above  by  which  the  immigration  data  are 
presented  by  racial  and  national  groups  instead  of  by  country 
of  last  permanent  residence  only,  is  a  great  boon  to  the  student 
of  this  subject.  The  classification  was  made  by  one  of  our  best 

1  For  a  criticism  of  this  classification,  see  below,  "Our  Slavic  Fellow-Citizens," 
page  247. 

2  The  years  are  not  calendar  but  fiscal  years  ending  June  30,  so  that  e.g.  1907 
means  July  i,  1906,  to  June  30,  1907. 


known  ethnologists,  the  late  Professor  Otis  T.  Mason,  but  it  is 
probably  impossible  to  make  one  that  shall  be  at  once  practical 
and  quite  logical.  This  one  is  open  to  several  minor  objections. 
Distinct  nationalities  like  Croatians  and  Slovenians,  Bulgarians 
and  Serbians,  are  lumped  together,  and  at  the  same  time  special 
place  is  given  to  a  group  which  is  merely  a  territorial  division ; 
namely,  Dalmatians,  Bosnians,  and  Herzegovinians  (who  are 
Servo-Croatians) . 

It  is  hard,  however,  to  explain  or  excuse,  the  practice  of  the 
immigration  authorities  of  including  Hebrews  in  the  Slavic 
group,  as  was  done,  for  instance,  on  page  21  of  the  1906  report 
of  the  Commissioner  General  of  Immigration.  In  the  same  report 
the  Lithuanians  and  Rumanians  are  also  included  as  Slavic,  but 
this  is  less  objectionable  as  these  peoples,  although  they  never 
count  themselves  as  Slavs  nor  are  so  counted  by  others,  and 
although  they  speak  non-Slavic  languages,  probably  have  much 
Slavic  intermixture,  and  considerably  resemble,  in  culture  and 
habits,  the  neighboring  Slavic  peoples.  The  same  might  be 
said  of  the  Magyars,  despite  their  Mongolian  type  of  speech. 

The  Jew,  on  the  contrary,  even  the  Polish  or  Russian  Jew,  is 
not  only  remote  in  blood  and  speech  from  all  Slavs,  but  moves  in 
another  world  of  ideas  and  purposes,  and  plays  a  very  different 
economic  part  both  in  Europe  and  America.  To  put  him  into 
one  class  with  Slavic  immigrants  in  a  table  of  racial  divisions 
can  only  create  confusion.1 

The  years  1899  and  1908  are  the  earliest  and  latest  for  which 
full  information  as  to  immigrants  by  races  is  available.  In 
these  ten  years  the  country  admitted  over  one  and  a  half  mil- 
lion Slavs,  many  of  whom,  however,  had  been  here  before  or  have 
since  returned.  It  is  not  uncommon  for  a  Slovak  to  have  made 
the  trip  to  America  eight  times,  in  which  case  he  appears  in  our 
figures  as  eight  immigrants. 

1  For  a  further  consideration  of  this  subject,  see  Boeckh :  "  The  Determination 
of  Racial  Stock  among  American  Immigrants."  Quarterly  Publications,  Ameri- 
can Statistical  Association,  Vol.  X,  pp.  199-221  (December,  1906). 



Statistics  show  that  for  the  period  between  the  years  1899  and 
1908,  .69  in  100  of  Slavic  arrivals  came,  as  already  said,  from 
Austria-Hungary,  25  per  cent  more  from  Russia,  2  per  cent  each 
from  Germany  and  the  territory  Bulgaria-Servia-Montenegro,1 
per  cent  from  Turkey,  and  only  i  per  cent  from  all  other  coun- 
tries combined. 

The  immigration  from  Bulgaria,  Servia,  and  Montenegro  is 
almost  wholly  Slavic  (96  per  cent),  that  from  Austria  nearly 
two  thirds  such  (61  per  cent),  while  the  streams  from  Russia  and 
Turkey  are  not  far  from  one  third  Slavic,  and  that  from  Germany 
is  one  tenth  Slavic. 

Our  previous  study  of  conditions  in  Europe,  combined  with 
the  American  figures,  indicates  that  we  have  received  during  the 
decade  1899-1908  the  following  groups  from  the  countries 

I.  From  Austria-Hungary : 

Bohemians    (Chekhs)    from    Bohemia,  Moravia,  and   Silesia 


Poles  from  Galicia  (about  335,651). 
Slovaks  from  northern  Hungary   (about  320,047). 
Ruthenians  from  Galicia  and  northeastern  Hungary    (about 

Slovenians  from  the  Austrian  province  of  Carniola  and  adjacent 

parts  (number  unknown).1 
Croatians  from  Croatia-Slavonia,  Istria,  Dalmatia,  Bosnia  and 

Herzegovina,  and  southern  Hungary  (number  unknown).1 
Serbians  from  the  same  territory  (certainly  less  than  28,677). 

II.  From  outside  Austria-Hungary : 

The  largest  of  the  three  Polish  contingents,  that  from  Russia 


The  smallest  of  the  three  Polish  contingents,  that  from  Germany 

Russians  proper,  from  Russia  (53,454),  only  between  three  and 
four  per  cent  of  the  total  of  almost  a  million  and  a  half  immi- 
grants that  Russia  has  sent  us  in  the  decade. 


Serbians  (beside  those  from  Austria-Hungary)  from  Serbia,  Mon- 
tenegro, Bulgaria  (?),  and  Turkey  (?)  (number  unknown).1 
Montenegrins  are  Serbians  from  Montenegro. 

And  lastly,  Bulgarians  from  Bulgaria  and  Turkey,  which  latter, 
I  suppose,  here  means  Macedonia  (number  unknown). 

A  large  part  of  the  Slavic  immigrants  that  come  from  outside 
the  five  main  fields  ((i)  Austria-Hungary,  (2)  Russia,  (3)  Ger- 
many, (4)  Bulgaria,  Serbia,  and  Montenegro,  and  (5)  Turkey  in 
Europe)  are  those  who  give  their  last  permanent  residence  as 
British  North  America  or  the  United  States.  The  latter  rubric 
was,  however,  provided  only  in  the  1906  tables,  in  which  it  occu- 
pies a  large  space  (1059  Poles,  for  instance,  gave  the  United 
States  as  their  last  country  of  permanent  residence). 


Turning  now  to  the  consideration  of  the  separate  national 
streams,  it  has  been  noted  that  the  great  numerical  predomi- 
nance is  with  the  Poles,  who  make  up  44  per  cent  of  the  Slav 
total  for  the  decade.  The  little  people  of  the  Slovaks  make  the 
second  group,  with  almost  one  fifth  of  the  whole.  Third  comes 
the  mixed  group  of  Croatians  and  Slovenians,  which  the  data 
do  not  allow  us  to  separate,  and  which  together  make  over  16 
per  cent.  The  other  groups  are  all  much  smaller.  The  Bohe- 
mians, who  were  the  most  important  group  of  Slavic  immigrants 
in  the  earlier  years,  and  even  in  1880  were  not  far  from  twice  as 
numerous  in  the  country  as  natives  of  Poland,  sank  during  this 
period  to  one  twentieth  of  the  whole;  that  is,  to  less  than  the 
little  group  of  the  Ruthenians  and  to  scarcely  more  than  those 
newcomers,  the  Serbians  and  Bulgarians. 

Even  within  the  period  the  emphasis  has  been  shifting.  Within 
the  Slavic  group,  as  in  European  immigration  in  general,  the 
spread  of  the  movement  has  trended  south  and  east.  Taking 
1907,  the  year  of  the  high  tide  of  immigration,  and  comparing 

1  Unfortunately  the  immigration  data  are  so  grouped  as  to  make  it  impossible 
to  distinguish  Croatians  and  Slovenians  from  one  another,  or  Bulgarians  and 
Serbians  from  one  another,  though  these  are  all  separate  nationalities  with  distinct 


this  with  1899,  we  see  that  the  different  groups  have  increased  at 
very  different  rates.  The  Bulgarian-Serbian  group  rose  from 
under  100  to  27,000  or  to  two  hundred  and  ninety-one  times  as 
many.  The  related  group  from  Dalmatia  and  Bosnia  increased 
twentyfold;  the  Ruthenians,  starting  with  1400,  rose  to  over 
24,000,  multiplying  more  than  seven  times;  the  Russians  in- 
creased their  numbers  nearly  ten  times.  The  older  immigration 
groups  also  increased,  though  at  a  less  rate;  Bohemians  and 
Poles  and  the  Croatian-Slovenian  group  all  about  fivefold,  while 
the  Slovaks  increased  less  than  threefold,  and  reached  their 
maximum  in  1905. 


We  must,  however,  be  on  guard  in  using  any  immigration  totals 
not  to  overlook  the  fact  that  they  represent  gross,  not  net, 
arrivals.  We  must  allow  for  the  numbers  of  immigrants  returning 
from  the  United  States.  In  the  appendix  to  the  report  of  the 
Commissioner  General  of  Immigration  for  1908,  an  estimate  is 
attempted  of  "Alien  departures/'  with  the  result  that  the  ac- 
cepted immigration  figures  should  be  reduced  as  follows : 

1899  by  41  per  cent  1904  by  37  per  cent 

1900  by  31  per  cent  1905  by  34  per  cent 

1901  by  28  per  cent  1906  by  26  per  cent 

1902  by  21  per  cent  1907  by  22  per  cent 

1903  by  21  per  cent  1908  by  73  per  cent 

That  is,  while  the  total  immigration  for  1908  was  782,870, 
the  real,  net  immigration  was  only  209,867,  or  not  far  above 
a  quarter  as  much,  —  and  for  this  one  year  the  figures  are  not 
estimated  but  actual.  What  then  are  we  to  suppose  in  regard 
to  the  Slavic  immigration?  What  proportion  of  their  total  of 
nearly  1,700,000  during  the  decade  1899-1908  represents  a  net 
addition  to  our  numbers  ?  We  may  get  a  side  light  on  this  by 
studying  the  successive  immigration  reports,  which  give  the 
number  of  immigrants  of  each  nationality  who  have  been  in 
the  country  previously.  Statistics  present  percentages  for  two 
years  (for  1906  and^  for  purposes  of  comparison,  for  1900), 
and  I  find  to  my  own  surprise  that  the  English,  Irish,  and 


Scotch  have  the  largest  proportion  and  thus  appear  to  come 
and  go  the  most,  and  that  the  Scandinavians  and  Germans  also 
stand  high.  The  Slovaks  have  nearly  as  high  a  rate  of  those 
returning  as  the  Irish,  in  both  years ;  other  Slavs  have  smaller 
proportions.  Jews,  as  one  might  expect,  come  to  stay,  and  go 
back  and  forth  less  than  any  other  class  noted. 

From  these  figures  we  see  that  while  the  Slavs,  except  the 
Slovaks,  are  (if  the  data  are  correct)  less  migratory  than  the 
average,  there  is  still  a  large  deduction  to  be  made  for  those 
entering  the  country  more  than  once,  and  in  addition  to  this, 
for  the  large  though  hitherto  unknown  number  who  leave  and  do 
not  return. 

Another  indication  of  the  discrepancy  between  immigration 
totals  and  net  additions  to  the  population  is  given  by  a  comparison 
of  the  figures  for  immigration  with  the  United  States  census. 
Foreign  countries  sent  us,  in  the  decade  1891-1900,  3,687,564 
immigrants.  The  census  of  1900,  however,  shows  a  gain  of 
foreign  born  since  1890  of  less  than  a  third  as  many  (1,091,729). 
Part  of  this  difference,  but  not  by  any  means  all  of  it,  is  accounted 
for  by  deaths  among  our  foreign-born  population. 



THE  one  thing  really  settled  is  that  there  shall  not  be  a  free 
flow  of  laborers  from  such  a  high  pressure  country  as  Japan 
to  the  low  pressure  United  States  for  the  mere  pecuniary  gain 
of  those  who  come.  No  country  can  afford  indefinitely  to 
provide  the  opportunity  for  draining  off  an  excess  of  population 
found  elsewhere  —  the  diminished  numbers  to  be  quickly  re- 
placed by  a  high  birth  rate.  There  are  few  in  the  United  States 
who  will  question  the  wisdom  of  the  principle  of  restriction  rather 
vigorously  applied  and  most  of  the  Japanese  people  freely  con- 
cede it.  Japan  has  for  some  time  been  acting  upon  that  prin- 
ciple in  restricting  emigration  directly  or  indirectly,  that  is,  by 
way  of  Mexico  and  Canada,  to  the  United  States.  She  has  ap- 
plied it  also  in  dealing  with  Chinese  laborers  who  came  to  her 
own  shores. 

With  reference  to  this  matter  I  wish  not  to  be  misunderstood. 
Until  conditions  materially  change,  vigorous  restriction  of  the 
free  movement  of  laborers  from  Japan  must  be  taken  for  granted. 
It  must  not  be  taken  for  granted,  however,  because  of  any  alleged 
inferiority  of  the  Japanese  race,  for  it  is  not  an  inferior  one. 
Nor  must  it  be  taken  for  granted  because  of  dependency,  disorder, 
ignorance,  or  undesirability  attaching  possibly  to  some  indi- 
viduals, for  there  has  been  no  problem  of  any  moment  connected 
with  any  of  these.  Nor,  again,  must  it  be  taken  for  granted 
because  of  gambling  or  related  evils  found  in  some  places,  for 
the  communities  in  which  such  evils  have  arisen  are  chiefly  to 
blame  for  them.  Nevertheless,  in  a  practical  world  restrictions 
must  be  taken  for  granted,  because  of  evils  for  which  no  one 

1  Printed  by  The  American  Sociological  Society  and  The  Committee  of  One 
Hundred,  Federal  Council  of  Churches  in  America,  August,  1915. 



in  particular  was  to  blame,  but  connected  with  the  earlier  influx 
and  perhaps  inherent  in  a  comparatively  free  movement  of  immi- 
grants from  Eastern  Asia  to  such  a  country  as  the  United  States. 

One  of  the  evils  experienced  and  which  is  indissolubly  con- 
nected with  any  considerable  immigration  of  Asiatic  laborers 
is  the  conflict  of  economic  standards.  We  have  witnessed  it 
in  industry  when  employment  was  taken  by  the  Asiatics  as 
section  hands  and  shop  and  mill  laborers  at  lower  wages  than 
others  were  paid.  Seldom,  it  is  true,  was  the  underbidding 
through  the  acceptance  of  lower  wages  great.  The  primary 
reason  for  the  difference  of  only  about  twenty  or  twenty-five 
cents  per  day  in  wages  was  that  the  slightly  lower  sum  was 
sufficient  to  absorb  the  numbers  available.  The  wages  accepted 
in  Hawaii  and  elsewhere  would  indicate  that  the  rates  accepted 
here  might  have  been  lower  if  need  be  to  be  effective  in  securing 
employment.  But  when  the  immigration  was  greatest,  industry 
was  expanding,  there  was  a  shortage  of  labor  at  the  wages  then 
current,  and  the  contractors,  working  in  connection  with  board- 
ing-houses and  other  sources  of  supply,  could  place  their  Japanese 
laborers  at  the  slight  discount  indicated.  Yet  that  the  immi- 
gration of  Japanese  laborers  and  the  organized  search  for  employ- 
ment previous  to  1908  was  accompanied  by  effective  under- 
bidding is  an  established  fact.  In  spite  of  the  expanding  industry, 
a  check  was  placed  upon  the  increase  in  wages  and  improvement 
in  labor  conditions.  That  organized  labor  was  the  first  to  pro- 
test against  the  competition  was  only  to  be  expected,  for  organized 
labor  stands  for  the  maintenance  and  improvement  of  standards. 
Laborers  without  organization,  also  to  the  best  of  their  lim- 
ited ability,  stood  opposed  to  any  impairment  of  their  working 

But  the  Japanese  laborers  were  employed  much  more  exten- 
sively in  agriculture  than  in  industrial  pursuits  such  as  those 
just  mentioned.  They  accepted  the  places  vacated  by  the  aging 
and  disappearing  Chinese,  maintained  the  old  Asiatic  labor  econ- 
omy, and  extended  it  to  new  branches  of  agriculture  as  they 
developed  in  California  and  to  the  sugar  industry  as  it  gained 
an  important  place  in  several  of  the  western  states.  They  found 
employment  chiefly  as  migratory  hand  laborers  in  the  growing 
of  intensive  crops,  where  much  of  the  work  is  of  the  stoop-over 


variety  and  unattractive  to  white  men.  They  easily  found 
place  in  such  occupations  because  they  were  organized  by  and 
easily  secured  through  bosses,  were  easily  shifted  from  place  to 
place  as  needed,  were  easily  housed  and  self-subsisting,  and, 
to  begin  with,  always  accepted  lower  wages  than  white  men, 
whether  paid  by  the  day  or  by  the  job.  They,  of  course,  by 
reason  of  their  availability,  cheapness,  and  fair  efficiency,  had 
not  a  little  to  do  with  the  rapid  advance  of  branches  of  agriculture 
of  an  intensive  type  and  of  farming  communities  where  the  supply 
of  labor  was  not  at  all  commensurate  with  the  needs  of  the  highly 
specialized  operations  most  profitable  if  labor  was  readily  avail- 
able on  favorable  terms.  Indeed  by  Asiatic  labor  not  a  few  of 
the  out-of-the-way  places  were  brought  to  that  state  of  develop- 
ment where  they  could  be  settled  by  others.  In  other  words, 
their  labor  was  to  a  considerable  extent  supplementary  to  that 
of  others.  Moreover,  it  must  be  admitted  that  their  presence 
made  more  employment  for  laborers  in  some  occupations  in 
which  they  did  not  themselves  compete  for  work.  Yet  it  is  true 
that  there  was  considerable  displacement  of  other  laborers  be- 
cause of  the  easy  terms  on  which  the  Japanese  could  be  obtained. 
The  disappearance  of  the  Chinese  was  hastened  by  their  compe- 
tition, and  in  some  instances  white  laborers  as  well  were  dis- 
placed. The  Japanese  were  effective  competitors  and  generally 
underbid  for  work.  Moreover,  others  tended  to  withdraw  as 
certain  agricultural  occupations  became  tainted.  My  investi- 
gations have  led  me  to  the  conclusion  that  the  economic  effects 
of  the  employment  of  the  Japanese  in  agricultural  work  were 
(i)  to  promote  certain  kinds  of  farming  and  to  hasten  the  develop- 
ment of  the  natural  resources,  (2)  to  cause  an  advance  in  land 
values,  (3)  to  retard  the  subdivision  of  large  holdings  and  to 
maintain  a  certain  amount  of  capitalistic  agriculture,  (4)  to  retard 
the  advance  in  wages  of  unskilled  laborers  and  to  extend  the  old 
labor  economy,  and  (5)  to  give  the  Japanese  a  pivotal  place  in 
the  labor  supply,  especially  in  many  California  communities. 
As  this  pivotal  place  was  secured  less  room  was  left  for  the  em- 
ployment of  others  in  certain  occupations  and  they  sought  work 

Most  of  the  Japanese  who  came  to  us  brought  only  their  hands 
and  sought  to  better  their  economic  condition  as  laborers  in  some 


of  the  lower  and  more  distasteful  walks  of  life.  With  time, 
however,  a  relatively  large  number  became  shopkeepers  or 
tenant  or  landowning  farmers.  Few  races  have  made  the  transi- 
tion as  quickly  as  the  Japanese,  and  in  their  shopkeeping  and 
farming,  differences  in  standards  corresponding  to  those  in  wage- 
employment  became  evident. 

The  number  of  Japanese  farmers,  most  of  them  tenant,  in  the 
West  in  1909,  was  perhaps  not  far  from  6000.  Many  of  their 
4000  holdings  were  not  farms,  but  small  plots,  so  that  the  com- 
bined acreage  held  by  them  was  perhaps  approximately  200,000, 
about  three  quarters  of  it  in  California.  Though  this  acreage 
seems  to  be  of  little  consequence  where  millions  of  acres  sparsely 
settled  are  found  in  the  West,  it  had  perhaps  tripled  in  five  years, 
and  the  details  connected  with  the  rapid  progress  thus  shown 
were  significant  of  what  might  be  expected  to  happen  were 
large  numbers  admitted  to  the  country,  and  gave  rise  to  fear 
for  the  future  —  especially  in  those  localities  in  which  most  of 
them  found  place.  More  recently  they  have  continued  to  make 
substantial  progress  as  farmers.  It  is  my  opinion  that  with  a 
large  immigration  of  Asiatics,  and  especially  of  Japanese,  much 
of  the  land  would  rapidly  come  into  their  possession  and  impor- 
tant changes  in  the  composition  and  life  of  agricultural  communi- 
ties settled  in  would  occur.  With  an  immigration  problem,  an 
important  land  problem  would  inevitably  develop.  The  reasons 
for  this  conclusion  may  be  briefly  presented. 

Numerous  things  have  combined  to  place  a  premium  on  shop- 
keeping  or  farming  by  the  versatile  and  efficient  Japanese.  The 
Japanese  are  ambitious,  and  the  immigrants  of  every  ambitious 
race  tend  strongly  to  rise  in  the  adopted  country  to  the  position 
they  occupied  in  their  native  land.  This  is  especially  true  of  the 
Japanese,  who  find  the  wage  relation  distasteful.  With  them  to 
be  a  wage  earner  is  to  show  inferiority;  to  be  economically 
independent  shows  merit.  Again,  their  advance  as  employees 
to  the  higher  occupations  has  been  made  difficult,  and  this  has 
virtually  forced  many  to  leave  the  wage-earning  class  in  order 
to  advance  at  all.  Most  of  them  have  been  employed  in  gangs 
and  limited  to  work  done  by  gangs.  A  third  important  factor 
is  found  in  the  fact  that  they  are  a  home-loving  people  and  wish 
to  have  their  families  with  them.  Ordinarily  this  has  been 


difficult  unless  they  become  shopkeepers  or  farmers.  If  laborers, 
they  were  expected  to  be  rolling  stones,  and  to  live  under  such 
conditions  as  to  make  a  desirable  family  life  impossible. 

Again,  because  of  the  great  respect  attaching  to  agriculture 
in  Japan  and  the  highly  developed  agricultural  arts  there  found, 
in  so  far  as  labor  and  scientific  application  are  concerned,  the 
Japanese  have  been  the  more  eager  to  obtain  possession  of  farms. 
But  most  important  of  all  has  been  the  place  they  have  occupied 
in  the  agricultural  labor  supply,  especially  in  California. 

It  is  a  general  fact  that  the  land  tends  to  fall  into  the  posses- 
sion of  the  race  employed  as  laborers,  if  the  race  is  a  capable 
one.  It  has  been  only  a  slight  change  from  the  employment  of 
Japanese  laborers  under  a  "boss"  to  share  tenancy  where  the 
landowner  provided  most  of  the  equipment,  did  the  work  with 
teams,  advanced  the  wages  of  the  employees,  managed  the 
business  in  all  of  its  details,  sold  the  produce  and  collected  the 
selling  price,  and  then  shared  this  with  the  tenant  after  all  bills 
were  paid.  Cash  tenancy,  with  liberal  advances  and  the  rent 
collected  out  of  the  receipts  from  crops  sold,  differs  little  except 
that  more  of  the  risk  is  taken  by  the  tenant.  To  the  landowner, 
however,  either  arrangement  has  had  the  distinct  advantage 
of  interesting  the  "boss"  and  obtaining  with  a  greater  degree 
of  certainty  his  cooperation  in  securing  laborers  as  needed  and 
in  supervising  them  at  work.  Most  of  the  tenant  farming  by 
Japanese  in  the  growing  of  grapes  and  deciduous  fruit  in  Cali- 
fornia and  in  growing  sugar  beets  everywhere  has  grown  out 
of  the  fact  that  the  Japanese  worked  under  a  "boss"  and  occu- 
pied a  dominant  place  in  the  labor  supply  required  for  taking 
care  of  the  crop.  As  some  landowners  leased  their  holdings  and 
secured  an  advantage  in  the  labor  market,  there  was  the  more 
reason  for  others  to  do  so. 

Again,  the  Japanese,  like  the  Chinese  before  them,  have  had 
an  advantage  over  other  races,  as  competitors  for  land,  in  Cali- 
fornia especially,  because  they  could  be  easily  and  cheaply  pro- 
vided with  shelter.  If  not  the  bunkhouse,  then  a  corresponding 
shelter  would  suffice ;  and  if  a  new  structure  was  required,  it  was 
frequently  built  by  the  tenant  with  the  privilege  of  removing 
it  upon  the  expiration  of  the  lease.  The  landowner  and  his  family, 
if  they  desired,  as  in  most  cases  they  have,  could  occupy  the  farm 


residence  and  reserve  such  part  of  the  farm  as  was  desired.  The 
members  of  no  white  race  could  be  had  as  tenants  unless  the 
family  residence  was  let  with  the  land ;  or  cottages,  superior  to 
those  which  have  generally  been  provided,  were  erected  at  the 
landowner's  expense  for  their  use.  With  respect  to  the  kind  of 
housing  required,  the  Asiatics  have  competed  with  others  for 
the  possession  of  land  on  the  basis  of  a  lower  standard.  It  has 
been  an  important  factor  in  explaining  the  advance  of  the 
Japanese  as  tenant  farmers. 

The  Japanese,  like  the  Chinese  before  them  and  now,  have 
been  willing  to  pay  higher  rents  than  others  for  land  —  such 
high  rents  in  fact  that  the  owner  has  frequently  found  it  more 
profitable  to  lease  his  land  than  to  farm  it  on  his  own  account. 
That  the  Japanese  and  Chinese  can  afford  to  pay  a  relatively 
high  rent  is  explained  in  part  by  the  fact  that  their  efficiency 
and  the  kinds  of  crops  grown  by  them  will  bear  it ;  in  part  by 
the  fact  that  they  have  a  different  standard  of  application; 
and  in  part  by  the  fact  that  the  income  in  prospect  from  farming 
need  not  be  so  large  as  that  expected  by  most  other  farmers. 

The  Asiatic  farmer  expects  to  work  hard  and  for  long  hours ; 
the  Japanese  is  usually  assisted  in  garden  or  field  by  his  wife, 
if  he  has  one ;  the  opportunities  for  employment  other  than  as  an 
unskilled  laborer  have  been  limited,  and  as  a  result  of  careful 
and  efficient  growing  of  intensive  crops  his  return  per  acre  is 
ordinarily  a  large  one.  But  whatever  the  reason  or  reasons,  the 
most  nearly  universal  fact  in  the  West  has  been  that  the  Asiatics, 
with  the  possible  exception  of  German  Russians  in  Colorado, 
have  been  the  highest  bidders  for  land.  This  fact  is  undisputed. 
In  some  localities  the  sums  paid  have  been  ruinously  large,  so 
that  an  organized  effort  has  now  and  then  been  made  by  the 
Japanese  organizations  to  limit  the  amount  paid.  It  is  equally 
true  that  they  have  paid  correspondingly  high  prices  for  the 
comparatively  small  amount  of  farm  land  purchased. 

Another  factor  of  some  importance  in  explaining  the  progress 
of  Japanese  as  farmers  is  the  ease  with  which  they,  like  the 
Chinese  and  the  Italians,  form  partnerships  to  carry  on  their  en- 
terprises. Of  still  more  importance  has  been  the  aid  extended  by 
commission  men  and  others  interested  in  the  marketing  of  the 
crops.  Liberal  advances  have  been  made  on  crops  in  order  to 


control  the  marketing  of  them.  Fruit  shippers  have  frequently 
served  as  middlemen  in  the  leasing  of  land,  and  here  and  there 
have  leased  land  themselves  and  then  sublet  it  to  Asiatics  in 
order  to  control  the  marketing  of  the  crops. 

And,  finally,  one  not  unimportant  fact  entering  into  the  situa- 
tion has  been  the  reclamation  and  reduction  of  raw  land  by  the 
Japanese  tenants.  Numerous  instances  are  found  in  Washing- 
ton and  Oregon  and  along  the  Sacramento  River  here  in  Cali- 
fornia. It  should  be  stated,  however,  that,  for  the  most  part, 
the  lands  acquired  by  the  tenants  have  been  those  improved 
by  others,  though  when  acquired  they  were  perhaps  devoted  to 
a  more  intensive  purpose. 

Thus,  numerous  factors  have  cooperated  to  explain  the  rapid 
progress  of  farming  by  the  Japanese.  In  passing,  some  of  the 
community  effects  should  be  noted,  for  they  are  of  importance. 

Japanese  farming  has  been  accompanied  by  a  tendency 
toward  a  rise  in  land  values  and  the  keeping  of  large  holdings 
intact  as  profitable  investments.  It  has  placed  a  slight  premium 
on  absentee-landlordism,  and,  though  it  is  not  true  that  the  earlier 
elements  in  the  farming  population  have  been  driven  out  of  any 
community  in  California,  and  though  it  is  true  that  Americans 
have  continued  to  move  into  localities  where  the  largest  per- 
centage of  Asiatics  were  settled,  it  has  tended  to  deflect  the  tide 
of  settlers  moving  west  to  other  localities.  Moreover,  in  a  few 
cases  the  acreage  of  certain  crops  has  been  greatly  increased  by 
the  Japanese  farmers  until  prices  have  broken  and  others  have 
tended  to  withdraw  from  their  production. 

In  this  way  the  thesis  is  maintained  that  with  a  large  immi- 
gration of  Japanese  laborers,  a  land  problem  would  develop. 
The  comparatively  small  influx  of  earlier  years  has  in  fact  resulted 
in  one  third  of  the  land  about  Florin,  one  half  of  the  orchards 
in  the  Vaca  valley,  a  still  larger  percentage  of  the  orchards  about 
Newcastle,  and  most  of  the  farms  above  Sacramento  along  the 
American  River  coming  into  their  hands  and  important  commu- 
nity effects  have  been  witnessed.  The  situation  in  several  other 
localities  differs  from  that  in  those  mentioned  only  in  degree. 

The  progress  of  the  Japanese  as  shopkeepers  has  also  been 
rapid,  especially  since  1904.  By  1909  they  were  conducting  some 
four  thousand  business  establishments  in  the  West,  these  giving 


employment  to  approximately  one  sixth  of  those  gainfully 
occupied.  At  present,  perhaps  one  fifth  of  the  Japanese  in  the 
West  are  so  engaged,  as  principals  or  as  their  employees. 

As  branches  of  business,  contracting  and  the  supply  house 
came  early,  of  course.  So  did  the  boarding  house,  the  barber 
shop,  the  restaurant,  and  the  places  of  amusement,  for  the  mem- 
bers of  this  race  were  usually  discriminated  against  by  others 
and  it  was  necessary  for  them  to  supply  their  own  needs.  But 
sooner  or  later  they  began  in  some  places  to  compete  with  gro- 
ceries, restaurants,  clothes  cleaning  and  tailor  shops,  and  the 
like,  for  so-called  American  trade,  and  the  competition  was 
usually  on  unequal  planes.  With  lower  wages  bills  incurred 
in  the  conduct  of  their  shops  and  with  a  lower  standard  of  neces- 
sary profit,  considerable  cutting  of  prices  accompanied  the 
progress  made  by  them.  Their  laundry  prices  were  effectively 
lower  than  those  charged  by  their  competitors,  and  this  was 
equally  true  in  most  of  the  competitive  trades.  Moreover,  the 
shifting  of  population  incidental  to  the  settlement  of  newcomers 
in  restricted  localities  was  in  some  cases  even  more  important 
than  the  cutting  of  prices.  The  formation  of  colonies  thus  added 
its  weight  to  the  underselling  with  the  result  that  though  the 
number  of  their  establishments  was  relatively  not  large  and  most 
of  their  shops  quite  small,  established  businesses  and  profits  of 
rivals  suffered  in  some  cases.  When  such  was  the  result,  it  was 
regarded  as  an  evil  by  those  injuriously  affected,  and  opposition, 
in  some  cases  organized  opposition  employing  fines  and  boycotts 
and  other  methods  of  defense  which  appear  drastic  to  the  out- 
sider, developed  at  new  points. 

Thus,  especially  before  immigration  was  greatly  restricted 
in  1907,  competition  in  unskilled  labor,  in  some  branches  of 
petty  business,  and  in  certain  branches  of  farming  for  which 
many  localities  in  the  West  are  peculiarly  well  suited,  has  taken 
place  in  unequal  terms.  There  has  been  a  conflict  of  standards. 
While  the  labor  has  been  helpful  in  developing  the  country  be- 
cause cheap,  efficient,  and  easily  secured;  while  it  has  been  a 
great  convenience  in  other  cases,  as  in  domestic  service ;  and  while 
profitable  branches  of  agriculture  have  been  caused  to  grow 
rapidly,  the  disturbing  effects  of  even  such  a  small  immigration 
as  has  given  us  a  total  population  of  Japanese,  old  and  young, 


of  less  than  a  hundred  thousand,  must  be  regarded  as  outweigh- 
ing the  good.  The  immigration  of  large  numbers  to  settle  on  the 
Pacific  Coast  and  to  compete  on  unequal  terms  because  of  differ- 
ences in  standards  must  be  regarded  as  undesirable  from  an  eco- 
nomic point  of  view,  unless  one  holds — as  no  one  can  successfully 
maintain  —  that  the  economic  welfare  of  the  country  depends 
more  upon  the  most  rapid  industrial  progress,  exploitation  of 
resources,  and  amassing  of  wealth  than  upon  an  improvement  in 
the  lot  of  those  at  or  near  the  bottom  of  the  economic  scale,  with 
relatively  low  land  values,  and  the  settlement  of  land  along 
lines  more  nearly  normal  according  to  the  American  standard. 

The  fundamental  economic  problem  is  to  be  emphasized. 
Yet  the  problem  has  not  been  merely  an  economic  one.  Because 
of  clannishness  on  the  part  of  the  Japanese  and  the  tendency  of 
others  to  limit  their  relations  with  them  to  business  affairs,  col- 
onies have  tended  to  develop  and  the  newcomers  to  be  encysted 
in  rather  than  be  assimilated  to  the  population.  In  spite  of 
considerable  capacity  on  the  part  of  the  Japanese  for  assimila- 
tion, it  has  not  been  taking  place  in  desired  degree,  partly  because 
of  the  strong  appeal  made  by  native  institutions  to  a  people 
living  in  colonies,  partly  because  of  the  failure  or  refusal  of 
others  to  do  their  share  in  a  process  which  requires  the  coopera- 
tion of  the  several  elements  in  the  population.  In  the  speaker's 
opinion  a  difficult  problem  in  connection  with  assimilation  has 
developed.  Even  with  limited  numbers  the  situation  is  such  that 
assimilation  of  those  here  is  now  unlikely  to  occur  in  desired 
degree.  With  large  numbers  it  would  not  take  place. 

Naturally,  considerable  friction  has  developed,  chiefly  because 
of  differences  in  economic  standards,  and  though  immigration 
has  undoubtedly  caused  an  expansion  of  commerce  between  the 
two  countries,  trade  relations  at  one  time  were  seriously  im- 
periled. All  of  these  things,  the  increase  of  dissatisfaction  due 
to  misunderstanding,  misrepresentation,  and  organized  agitation, 
the  obvious  difference  in  color,  and  the  extreme  solicitude  of  the 
Japanese  government  for  the  welfare  of  its  subjects  and  its 
treatment  of  them  as  pseudo-colonists,  have  tended  to  produce 
a  new  race  problem.  Had  matters  continued  for  some  years 
longer  as  they  were  ten  years  ago,  such  a  problem  would  inevi- 
tably have  resulted. 


Thus  it  is  maintained  that  there  cannot  be  a  free  flow  of 
laborers  from  Japan  to  the  western  part  of  the  United  States. 
But,  happily,  for  seven  years,  with  the  gentlemen's  agreement 
faithfully  observed  by  the  Japanese  government  and  with  the 
prohibition  of  re-migration  from  Hawaii,  Mexico,  and  Canada, 
we  have  had  and  now  have  no  immigration  problem  in  so  far 
as  incoming  Japanese  laborers  are  concerned.  The  statement 
is  true  that  "with  unswerving  constancy  and  fidelity  the  Japanese 
government  has  maintained  the  gentlemen's  agreement  by 
which  it  undertook  to  suppress  the  immigration  of  laborers  to 
the  United  States."  It  has  done  more.  By  regulating  immigra- 
tion to  neighboring  countries,  the  difficult  border  problem  has 
ceased  to  be  of  importance.  There  can  be  no  reasonable  doubt 
that  we  have  in  the  agreement  the  most  effective  exclusion 
arrangement,  and  the  United  States  owes  a  debt  of  gratitude  to 
the  Japanese  government  for  its  cooperation  in  effecting  it.  The 
number  of  Japanese  laborers  in  the  country  is  slowly  diminish- 
ing, and  the  problems  involved  in  the  earlier  situation  are  grad- 
ually settling  themselves.  Of  underbidding  in  the  labor  market 
there  is  now  practically  none ;  the  conflict  of  standards  in  petty 
business  has  become  largely  a  matter  of  the  past ;  and  no  serious 
or  extensive  problem  connected  with  the  land  can  develop. 
The  feeling  of  opposition  is  less  intense  than  it  was.  Neverthe- 
less there  are  unsettled  problems.  They  should  be  settled  and 
the  policy  of  drifting  along  with  some  harassing  legislation 
should  not  be  permitted  to  continue  if  we  can  agree  upon  the 
direction  positive  efforts  should  take. 

With  no  particular  immigration  to  complicate  the  situation, 
what  are  these  unsettled  problems  to  which  consideration  should 
be  given  ?  One  is  found  in-  the  gentlemen's  agreement  as  a  method 
of  control;  others  are  found  in  connection  with  the  treatment 
of  immigrants  who  are  here  or  who  may  be  admitted.  These 
two  questions  or  groups  of  questions  may  be  considered  in  turn. 

Though  the  gentlemen's  agreement  and  the  President's  order 
relating  to  the  indirect  immigration  which  accompanied  it  have 
served  well  as  a  method  of  restriction,  the  agreement  has  come 
in  for  considerable  adverse  criticism.  Approaching  the  matter 
from  different  angles  different  groups  have  advocated  new  immi- 
gration legislation  to  replace  it.  First  of  all,  a  vigorous  agitation 


for  an  exclusion  law  applying  to  all  Asiatics  has  been  carried  on 
for  years.  It  antedated  the  adoption  of  the  agreement  and  has 
not  died  away  since  it  became  effective.  Much  of  its  force  is 
found  in  the  widespread  but  erroneous  belief  that  the  agreement 
is  not  effective  as  a  restrictive  measure,  in  the  fear  that  it  might 
cease  to  be  effective,  and  in  the  feeling  that  the  right  to  control 
immigration  to  the  country  is  a  sovereign  right  which  should 
be  exercised,  not  compromised,  by  treaty  or  agreement.  In  the 
least  offensive  form  this  demand  would  find  expression  in  a 
general  immigration  law  which  would  admit  only  those  who 
are  eligible  to  become  citizens  by  naturalization.  Admission 
and  the  possibility  of  becoming  citizens  should  go  hand  in  hand, 
but  exclusion  in  this  way  raises  the  additional  question  as  to 
the  soundness  of  the  discrimination  now  involved  in  our  naturali- 
zation law  about  which  something  will  be  said  presently.  But, 
in  so  far  as  Japanese  immigration  is  concerned,  it  seems  to  me 
that  there  is  at  present  no  problem  to  be  solved  by  exclusion 
legislation,  whatever  form  it  might  take.  An  exclusion  law 
modeled  after  the  Chinese  exclusion  act  would  be  illogical  when 
the  existing  agreement  is  more  effective  than  any  law  of  that 
character  would  be.  It  could  solve  no  problem  and  it  is  illogical 
to  enact  any  law  unless  there  is  a  problem  to  be  solved  by  so 
doing.  The  Japanese  government  has  on  more  than  one  occasion 
expressed  its  willingness  to  continue  the  present  agreement,  and 
it  would  be  unjust  to  enact  an  exclusion  law  so  long  as  she  is 
willing  and  capable  of  limiting  the  issuance  of  passports  to  would- 
be  immigrants.  Moreover,  to  enact  such  a  law  as  long  as  the 
Japanese  government  faithfully  observes  the  agreement  entered 
into  in  1907  would  be  too  serious  an  affront  to  a  people  jealous 
of  its  honor  and  determined  to  command  the  treatment  due  a 
first-class  nation.  To  enact  an  exclusion  law  of  any  kind  would 
be  illogical,  unjust,  and  an  affront  to  Japan. 

On  the  other  hand,  some  would  remove  the  restriction  which 
now  obtains.  In  Japan  there  seems  to  be  some  restiveness 
under  the  agreement  and  a  limited  amount  of  feeling  that  it 
was  a  temporary  measure  to  tide  over  an  emergency  and  that  it 
has  accomplished  its  object.  A  smaller  number  of  persons  on 
this  side,  interested  in  cheap  labor,  would  be  glad  to  see  the  bars 
let  down.  But  to  grant  an  unrestricted  immigration  under  our 


present  immigration  law  in  order  to  meet  the  wishes  of  a  minority 
in  Japan  and  a  small  number  in  this  country  who  wish  cheap 
labor  would  be  unwise  for  reasons  already  set  forth.  It  would 
be  out  of  harmony  with  the  forward  movement  to  which  we  are 
devoting  so  much  effort.  If  the  agreement  is  to  be  replaced  by 
law  at  all,  it  should  be  replaced  by  a  new  immigration  law  of 
the  general  nature  of  the  measure  advocated  so  brilliantly  by 
Dr.  Gulick. 

Dr.  Gulick's  plan  is  best  stated  by  himself.  But,  briefly  put, 
his  suggestion  is  that  the  number  of  independent  immigrants 
admitted  from  any  country,  or  of  any  race  or  mother  tongue, 
in  any  one  year  should  be  limited  to,  say,  5  per  cent  of  the 
number  of  immigrants  from  that  country  already  here  and  nat- 
uralized and  the  American-born  offspring  of  the  same  stock. 
A  system  of  registration  would  be  worked  out  for  the  adminis- 
tration of  the  plan.  All  who  secured  admission  unlawfully  or 
who  were  not  law-abiding  would  be  deported. 

The  general  effect  of  a  measure  shaped  in  this  way  would  be 
to  bring  the  control  of  all  immigration  under  one  law  and  to  get 
rid  of  the  Chinese  exclusion  act  with  its  invidious  distinctions, 
the  strained  and  unsatisfactory  interpretation  of  the  present 
law  in  dealing  with  the  East  Indians,  and  perhaps  to  end  the 
movement  to  enact  an  exclusion  law  applying  to  the  Japanese. 
It  would  not  limit  immigration  from  the  northwestern  European 
countries  unless  under  new  conditions  it  should  tend  to  expand 
much  beyond  its  dimensions  in  recent  years ;  it  would  materially 
limit  the  more  or  less  induced  immigration  of  recent  years  from 
southern  and  eastern  Europe,  and  would  not  materially  affect, 
for  the  time  being,  the  number  of  Chinese,  Japanese,  Koreans, 
and  East  Indians  coming  directly  to  our  shores. 

Were  Dr.  Gulick's  plan  applied  to  the  figures  given  in  the 
census  of  1910,  it  would  admit  annually  into  the  United  States, 
including  Hawaii,  to  begin  with,  a  maximum,  the  excepted  classes 
of  wives,  children,  etc.,  not  counted,  of  some  1200  or  1300 
Japanese  and  about  noo  or  1200  Chinese  immigrants.  These 
figures,  it  would  appear,  are  somewhat  larger  than  of  the  corre- 
sponding classes  admitted  in  recent  years  but  the  difference  to 
begin  with  would  not  be  material.  With  time  the  basic  number 
to  which  his  5  per  cent  would  be  applied  would  increase  because 


of  a  considerable  number  of  Japanese  who  would  become  nat- 
uralized if  given  the  opportunity  his  plan  calls  for,  and  because 
of  the  few  thousand  born  annually  in  this  country.  Thus  the 
plan  would  make  possible  a  cumulative  immigration. 

It  was  partly  because  of  these  cumulative  figures,  partly 
because  of  the  administrative  difficulties  connected  with  a  census 
the  results  of  which  were  to  be  employed  in  this  way,  and  partly 
because  of  the  inducement  held  out  to  seek  naturalization  so  as 
to  increase  the  numbers  which  might  be  admitted,  that  I  have 
elsewhere  suggested  a  modification  which  in  its  essence  would 
admit  definite  numbers  arrived  at  in  Dr.  Gulick's  manner,  these 
numbers  being  based  upon  the  census  returns  of  1910,  but  obtain- 
ing indefinitely  unless  waived  by  order  properly  issued  in  any 
case  where  the  motive  for  emigration  was  found  in  political  or 
religious  persecution. 

Thus,  as  has  already  been  stated,  under  this  plan  the  issues 
involved  in  the  trans-Atlantic  and  the  trans-Pacific  immigrations 
would  be  joined,  and  reasonably  so,  for  there  has  been  a  problem 
of  large  numbers  in  the  so-called  "newer  immigration."  What 
the  situation  will  be  after  the  present  war  is  not  clear ;  we  can 
only  guess,  but  there  is  the  possibility  of  large  numbers  once  the 
work  of  reconstruction  has  been  completed  and  the  weight  of 
the  inevitable  tax  burden  is  felt.  The  best  students  of  the  sub- 
ject of  immigration  —  those  who  can  look  beyond  things  merely 
personal  to  things  in  their  collectivity,  are  generally  agreed  that 
radical  restriction  has  been  needed.  They  agree  with  the  recent 
Immigration  Commission  that  we  have  had  "an  oversupply  of 
unskilled  labor  in  the  industries  of  the  country  as  a  whole,  and 
a  condition  of  retarded  improvement  with  some  deterioration 
of  labor  conditions  which  demanded  legislation  restricting  the 
further  admission  of  unskilled  labor."  They  are  generally 
agreed,  moreover,  that  this  problem  is  closely  connected  with 
the  fact  that  more  than  four  fifths  of  the  European  immigration 
has  recently  been  from  the  southern  and  eastern  countries,  which 
have  the  lowest  standards,  and  the  immigrants  from  which  are 
most  congested  in  their  occupations  and  residence  as  compared 
to  the  distribution  of  the  native-born.  All  agree  that  in  the  case 
of  the  "newer  immigration"  there  are  greater  differences  in 
institutions  and  customs  than  in  the  case  of  immigrants  from 


northwestern  Europe  to  be  overcome  in  the  process  of  assimila- 
tion. Most  students  are  agreed  that  the  south  and  east  Euro- 
peans taken  as  a  whole  are  less  sensitive  than  the  northwest 
Europeans  to  the  American  environment,  and  that  a  situation 
has  developed  in  the  industrial  centers  of  the  East  in  which 
assimilation  has  proceeded  in  halting  and  uncertain  fashion  and 
out  of  which  numerous  problems  of  local  government,  adminis- 
tration, and  institutions  have  developed.  Some  argue  that  a 
wider  distribution  is  all  that  would  have  been  required,  but  it 
is  probably  true  that  it  would  have  served  to  lower  temporarily 
the  content  of  the  labor  reservoir  and  then  to  increase  the  inflow 
from  abroad.  If  so,  high  birth  rates  would  continue  the  inflow 
indefinitely.  A  problem  of  dependency  was  developing  out  of 
the  influx,  and  a  proper  use  of  the  data  available  shows  that 
some  prominent  elements  in  the  immigration  from  the  southern 
countries  complicate  and  make  more  difficult  the  problem  of 
maintaining  law  and  order.  Before  the  war  our  biggest  problem 
was  found  in  the  trans-Atlantic  immigration.  Would  it  not  be 
well  to  safeguard  ourselves  against  its  possible  return? 

It  was  stated  a  while  ago  that  under  the  plan  suggested  there 
would  be  no  material  change  in  the  trans-Pacific  immigration. 
This  was  based  upon  the  assumption,  however,  that  the  present 
effective  bar  against  re-migration  of  Asiatics  from  Hawaii  to 
the  mainland  would  be  retained  or  a  desirable  substitute  found 
for  it.  Without  such  a  bar  an  influx  like  that  of  ten  years  ago 
would  take  place  because  of  the  inferior  conditions  which  are 
found  in  the  Islands.  It  would  result  in  an  acute  labor  problem 
in  the  Islands  and  an  undesirable  situation  here.  I  should  not 
advocate  any  plan  which  would  involve  a  re-migration  from 
Honolulu  to  the  mainland. 

Legislation  along  the  lines  suggested,  supported  by  effective 
restrictions  upon  re-migration. of  the  kind  mentioned,  while  leav- 
ing the  numbers  admitted  not  materially  different  from  those 
during  the  last  few  years,  would  relieve  the  Japanese  government 
of  the  embarrassment  of  the  agreement  in  a  way  forced  upon 
it  and  the  criticism  of  those  of  its  subjects  who  maintain  that 
it  was  adopted  only  to  save  Japan's  face  and  was  expected 
to  be  temporary.  Moreover,  it  would  safeguard  the  situation 
in  the  event  that  the  position  of  the  government  should  be 


changed  by  growing  democracy.  It  would  meet  the  position  of 
our  own  people  who  maintain  that  the  right  to  control  immigra- 
tion is  a  sovereign  right  and  that  this  should  be  exercised,  not 
compromised.  But  most  important  of  all,  it  would  disabuse 
many  of  our  people  of  the  erroneous  impression  that  many  labor- 
ers are  actually  being  admitted,  or,  in  the  absence  of  strong 
opposition  displayed,  would  be  admitted,  to  the  United  States, 
and  would  go  far  to  prevent  discrimination  by  law  and  otherwise. 
My  investigations  have  convinced  me  that  there  is  a  widespread 
feeling  that  many  in  some  way  or  other  are  admitted.  Others 
feel  that  in  the  absence  of  organized  opposition,  the  agreement 
would  not  be  effectively  administered. 

Much  of  the  opposed  legislation  has  not  been  directed  at  seri- 
ous problems  but  has  appealed  because  anti-Asiatic  and  because 
it  was  felt  to  be  necessary  in  order  to  prevent  an  influx  of  new 
immigrants.  A  measure  of  the  kind  suggested  should  go  far  to 
relieve  the  situation  in  so  far  as  connected  with  mistaken  views 
of  what  is  actually  occurring  and  with  the  apprehension  of  what 
might  take  place.  Moreover,  it  would  not  stand  in  the  way  of 
literacy  or  other  selective  tests  if  they  should  be  desired. 

Thus,  it  is  maintained  that  restriction  of  immigration  in  gen- 
eral is  needed.  If  proper  provision  is  made  for  those  persecuted, 
the  restrictions  imposed  should  discriminate  in  their  effects 
but  not  in  terms  against  the  races  of  South  and  East  Europe. 
They  should  discriminate  in  their  effects,  but  not  expressly, 
still  more  against  immigrant  laborers  from  Asia,  who  without 
restriction  are  the  cheapest  and  frequently  the  best  organized 
and  have  the  most  injurious  effects  in  competition,  who  institu- 
tionally and  in  thought  and  in  mode  of  life  have  more  to  be 
overcome  in  assimilation,  who  are  handicapped  by  an  obvious 
difference  in  color,  and  who,  moreover,  find  a  natural  stopping- 
place  on  the  Pacific  Coast,  so  that  the  effects  of  their  immi- 
gration would  be  concentrated  upon  a  limited  territory.  The 
plan  suggested  is  believed  to  have  merit  in  that  it  is  restrictive, 
is  general  and  non-discriminatory  in  form,  would  discriminate 
only  reasonably  in  its  effects,  would  correct  false  impressions 
with  reference  to  Japanese  immigration,  and  would  not  stand 
in  the  way  of  such  individual  selective  tests  as  might  be  consid- 
ered desirable. 


Coining  to  unsettled  problems  relative  to  the  treatment  of 
Japanese  residing  in  the  United  States,  one  of  the  most  serious 
is  found  in  the  political  disability  under  which  they  labor.  At 
present  Japanese,  Chinese,  and  other  eastern  Asiatic  subjects, 
because  neither  white  nor  black,  are  ineligible  to  become  Ameri- 
can citizens  by  process  of  naturalization.  Some  of  the  western 
Asiatics  stand  in  the  shadow  of  doubt.  Though  the  disability 
under  which  all  save  the  Chinese  rest,  is  not  the  result  of  dis- 
criminatory legislation  directed  against  them,  but  merely  inci- 
dental under  a  law  given  shape  many  years  ago  and  interpreted 
by  the  courts,  the  invidious  distinction  between  races  has  come 
to  be  regarded  by  the  Japanese  as  "  hurtful  to  their  just  national 
susceptibility,"  and  the  reasonableness  of  the  law  was  officially 
raised  in  the  long-drawn-out  correspondence  over  the  Cali- 
fornia land  law.  Certainly  the  political  disability  has  opened  the 
way  for  discriminatory  legislation  of  the  kind  just  mentioned. 
Moreover,  the  Japanese  feel  that  it  is  unjust  to  withhold  from 
them  rights  which  foreigners  may  enjoy  in  Japan  and  which  the 
Japanese  themselves  have  in  Canada.  They  naturally  desire 
equal  treatment  under  the  law. 

As  a  matter  of  principle,  all  aliens  admitted  to  this  country, 
regardless  of  race,  should  be  admitted  to  a  full  partnership  in 
our  institutions  as  soon  as  they  as  individuals  are  properly  pre- 
pared to  exercise  their  rights  and  are  willing  to  accept  the 
responsibilities  which  must  go  hand  in  hand  with  rights. 
The  reasons  assigned  by  those  who  oppose  an  amendment 
of  the  naturalization  law  so  as  to  permit  the  Japanese 
admitted  to  become  citizens  do  not  seem  to  me  to  be  suffi- 
cient to  support  their  case.  It  must  be  admitted  of  course 
that  the  Japanese  have  much  of  medieval  loyalty  to  their 
native  government.  Rapid  strides  in  economic  matters  have 
not  as  yet  greatly  affected  the  concept  of  the  state  held 
by  those  who  have  not  emigrated.  Yet  it  is  undoubtedly 
true  that  most  of  those  who  have  decided  to  settle  here  per- 
manently have  had  their  mode  of  thought  considerably 
changed,  and  it  is  probably  true  that  those  who  sought  the 
privilege  of  citizenship  would  accept  its  responsibilities  in 
pretty  much  the  same  degree  as  they  have  been  accepted  by 
some  of  our  European-Americans  who  have  immigrated  from 


countries  where  the  attitude  toward  the  state  is  not  materially 
different  from  that  in  Japan. 

Of  course  a  Japanese  vote  might  develop,  but,  if  it  did,  it 
would  not  be  unique  in  our  political  history.  In  any  event  the 
number  of  votes  would  be  small.  This  might  not  be  true  in 
Hawaii,  however,  where  the  Japanese  and  Chinese  constitute 
a  majority  of  the  population.  But  this  raises  the  question  as 
to  the  terms  on  which  citizenship  should  be  conferred.  Under 
a  proper  naturalization  law  only  a  comparatively  small  percent- 
age of  the  aliens  residing  there  could  become  naturalized. 

In  advocating  an  amendment  of  the  naturalization  law  so 
that  it  shall  not  discriminate  against  any  race,  I  would  not  advo- 
cate a  mere  extension  of  the  present  law.  Though  the  abuses 
under  it  are  not  so  great  as  they  once  were,  in  many  places  its 
administration  is  little  short  of  a  farce.  We  cannot  be  said  to 
have  in  operation  any  well-defined  requirements  always  and 
everywhere  to  be  met  by  those  who  seek  citizenship.  We  hold 
citizenship  too  cheap  and  pay  dearly  for  it.  The  law  should 
be  administered  by  specialized  naturalization  courts,  and  citizen- 
ship should  be  conferred  only  upon  those  who  can  read  and 
write  English  understandingly,  who  know  the  structure  of  and 
principles  underlying  our  government,  and  who  have  an  accept- 
able knowledge  of  our  history.  But  the  law  should  be  changed 
so  as  to  make  all  who  possess  these  qualifications  eligible,  and 
provision  should'  be  made  to  enable  immigrants  of  all  races  to 
meet  the  tests. 

Thus  I  would  advocate  a  general  naturalization  law  based 
upon  individual  merit  and  not  at  all  upon  the  matter  of  race. 
Such  a  law  would  be  based  upon  good  principle,  would  remove 
all  contested  cases  growing  out  of  doubtful  eligibility,  would 
tend  to  prevent  discriminatory  legislation,  and  would  undoubt- 
edly do  more  just  now  than  anything  else  to  further  harmonious 
relations  with  the  people  across  the  Pacific  which  unites  as  well 
as  divides  us.  At  the  same  time  it  may  be  observed  that  the 
time  will  soon  come  when  the  number  of  native-born  Japanese 
citizens  will  be  as  large  as  the  number  who  could  qualify  for 
citizenship  granted  on  proper  terms.  Their  attitude  as  citizens 
will  depend  to  a  considerable  extent  upon  the  rights  enjoyed  by 
their  fathers.  The  objections  to  such  a  law,  extending  rights 


enjoyed  by  whites  and  blacks  to  races  of  a  different  color,  can  be 
easily  exaggerated  —  especially  if  it  is  adopted  along  with  a 
general  restrictive  immigration  law.  That  they  may  easily 
be  exaggerated  is  indicated  by  the  fact  that  while  we  have  for- 
bidden the  naturalization  of  Chinese  in  this  country,  those  who 
gained  citizenship  in  Hawaii  at  an  earlier  time  are  generally 
regarded  as  a  good  class  of  conservative  voters. 

With  an  amendment  of  the  naturalization  laws  of  the  kind 
suggested,  the  California  and  Arizona  land  acts  would  cease  to 
be  effective  for  they  merely  place  limitations  upon  those  ineligible 
to  citizenship.  It  is  my  opinion  that  they  were  mistakenly 
adopted  and  were  unjust,  impolitic,  and  unnecessary.  Yet, 
I  would  not  be  understood  to  maintain  that  in  California  there 
was  not  a  problem  in  some  communities  closely  connected  with 
permanent  tenure  of  the  land  —  largely  because  of  the  settlement 
of  Japanese  in  colonies.  Nor  do  I  wish  to  be  understood  as 
maintaining  that  were  the  prohibition  of  land  ownership  rendered 
ineffective,  no  local  problems  would  develop.  There  is  a  problem 
connected  with  an  extensive  colonization  and  a  partial  assimi- 
lation which  must  be  solved  if  confusion  and  discord  are  to  be 
avoided  and  right  relations  maintained. 

Representing  a  very  different  civilization,  clannish  in  unusual 
degree,  seeking  much  the  same  thing,  and  discriminated  against 
and  more  or  less  avoided  by  most  of  the  other  elements  in  the 
population,  of  course  the  majority  of  the  Japanese  have  settled 
in  restricted  localities  and  are  more  or  less  colonized.  Colonies 
have  their  advantages  in  meeting  the  needs  of  a  people  in  so  far 
as  they  remain  foreign.  But  unfortunately  the  very  existence 
of  the  colony  makes  assimilation  difficult,  tends  to  give  its  mem- 
bers inferior  standing,  and  to  cause  the  locality  to  be  less  desir- 
able for  residence  by  others.  With  the  colony  the  full  comple- 
ment of  Japanese  institutions  appears,  association  is  chiefly 
with  members  of  the  one  race,  the  learning  English  is  retarded, 
and  the  native  bonds  loosen  slowly  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the 
Japanese  are  very  sensitive  to  certain  parts  of  their  environment. 
In  the  absence  of  colonies,  Americanization  appears  to  proceed 
fairly  rapidly,  and  no  important  community  effects  are  to  be 
noted.  Livingston  affords  a  case  in  point.  In  that  community 
there  has  been  no  conflict  of  standards  and  no  important 


colonization  and  the  situation  is  normal  according  to  American 
standards.  Though  the  white  residents  may  state  that  they  would 
prefer  families  of  their  own  color,  the  Japanese  are  well  received 
and  have  good  standing  in  the  community.  But  unfortunately 
there  seems  to  be  no  way  in  which  the  colony  can  be  attacked 
directly.  Time  and  more  rapid  assimilation  must  undermine 
it  if  it  is  to  disappear. 

As  has  already  been  stated,  with  any  large  immigration  it  is 
believed  that  assimilation  of  the  Japanese  would  not  take  place. 
The  problem  would  be  complicated,  as  it  has  been  in  the  past, 
by  friction  and  discrimination.  With  a  narrowly  restricted 
immigration,  however,  friction  over  the  clash  of  economic  stand- 
ards has  tended  to  diminish  and  eventually  discrimination  will 
perhaps  disappear.  Certainly  much  should  be  said  for  an  edu- 
cational campaign  to  remove  misunderstanding  so  that  its  dis- 
appearance will  be  hastened. 

Of  course  the  Japanese  are  being  assimilated.  Those  who 
return  to  Japan  after  some  years  spent  in  the  United  States, 
find  the  situation  difficult  if  not  intolerable  and  frequently  return 
here  to  reside  permanently.  Yet  the  problem  of  assimilation  is 
present,  and  in  interest  of  present  and  future  relations  it  should 
be  attacked  vigorously.  It  calls  for  much  more  effort  than  has 
been  as  yet  put  forth.  Though  the  Japanese  themselves  have 
done  more  than  any  other  race  to  provide  facilities  for  teaching 
the  English  language,  more  extensive  facilities  should  be  pro- 
vided as  a  part  of  an  internal  immigration  policy.  There  should 
be  cooperation  between  the  school  authorities  and  the  Japanese 
association  of  each  locality,  and  night  schools  should  be  provided 
for  the  adults.  The  Christian  mission  churches  are  doing  much 
of  value,  but  the  provision  for  carrying  forward  their  work  is 
not  adequate.  Without  passing  judgment  upon  the  relative 
merits  of  different  religions  for  different  peoples,  it  may  be  said 
that  nothing  save  the  use  of  a  common  language  seems  to  be  of 
more  value  than  the  spread  of  Christianity  in  the  process  of 
assimilation  of  the  Japanese.  Its  importance  has  appealed  to 
me  more  and  more  as  I  have  watched  the  changes  going  on  in 
different  communities.  It  is  not  too  much  to  say  that  here  at 
home  we  have  the  best  opportunity  to  support  needed  mission- 
ary work,  to  be  done  of  course  along  the  lines  upon  which  that 


best  done  proceeds.  After  the  process  of  assimilation  has  taken 
place  to  a  certain  extent,  the  native-born  element  will  do  much 
to  hasten  it  if  it  is  not  prevented  by  discrimination  from  occupying 
the  normal  place  it  will  wish,  provided  the  older  elements  do  not 
prove  to  be  too  conservative,  and  in  so  far  as  they  control  the 
situation,  bring  them  up  as  Japanese. 

With  the  clannishness  natural  to  the  Japanese,  the  respect 
for  their  elders,  the  differences  representing  diverse  civilizations 
to  be  overcome,  and  the  situation  which  obtains,  considerable 
time  will  be  required  to  make  much  headway  even  with  small 
numbers.  The  progress  made  will  depend  largely  upon  the  degree 
of  cooperation  between  the  diverse  elements  in  the  community. 
The  question  should  be  raised  whether  the  organizations  of  the 
Japanese  should  not  be  less  official  in  their  aspects,  less  shaped 
as  though  the  country  was  to  be  colonized  and  exploited  for 
gain,  and  be  conducted  more  than  they  generally  are  with  refer- 
ence to  securing  the  adoption  of  American  standards.  The  ques- 
tion should  be  raised,  also,  whether  something  cannot  be  done  to 
secure  a  more  general  observance  of  Sunday,  and  to  give  women 
the  place  in  the  family  and  the  family  life  we  expect  in  the  United 
States.  However  much  it  may  be  needed,  the  general  practice 
of  having  the  women  gainfully  occupied  in  men's  work  in  the 
field,  cannot  but  alienate  the  native  element  and  give  the  Japan- 
ese lower  standing  in  the  communities  in  which  they  reside. 
When  a  people  is  admitted  to  the  country,  their  presence  imposes 
obligations  upon  the  native  population.  We  have  been  neglectful 
in  this  matter.  But  when  admission  is  secured,  it  imposes  an 
obligation  upon  the  newcomers  to  give  heed  to  the  normal 
standards  of  the  country  to  which  they  have  been  admitted. 
Both  the  Asiatic  and  trfe  white  races  are  on  trial  in  the  West. 
The  final  outcome  is  important.  Will  the  white  races,  when  their 
institutions  are  safeguarded  by  a  narrowly  restricted  immigration, 
give  necessary  opportunity  and  cooperation  and  avoid  evils  and 
friction  ?  Will  those  admitted  retain  their  clannishness  and  seek 
chiefly  to  make  gain  rather  than  strive  to  become  Americans? 




THOUGH  a  few  thousand  Armenians  are  found  in  the  West, 
most  of  them  in  Fresno  County,  California,  and  perhaps 
a  thousand  Syrians  in  Los  Angeles,  most  of  the  Asiatic  immi- 
gration has  been  from  eastern  Asia  —  China,  Japan,  Korea, 
and  India.  For  reasons  already  given  elsewhere,  no  special 
investigation  was  made  of  the  Chinese.  Such  data  as  were 
obtained  were  secured  incidentally  to  the  investigation  of  other 
races  and  of  industries  in  which  Chinese  are  or  have  been  em- 
ployed. A  few  points  concerning  their  number,  occupations, 
and  related  matters  may  be  commented  on  briefly,  however, 
chiefly  for  convenience  in  discussing  Japanese  immigration, 
upon  which  most  emphasis  was  placed  in  the  investigation  made 
in  the  Western  division. 

According  to  the  census,  the  number  of  Chinese  in  the  con- 
tinental United  States  in  1900  was  93,283.  Of  these,  88,758 
were  males  and  4525  were  females.  In  all  probability  the  number 
of  adult  males  was  somewhat  larger  than  the  figure  reported,  as 
it  is  almost  impossible  to  enumerate  all  but  a  negligible  percentage 
of  the  foreign-born  males  living  under  such  conditions  as  were 
at  that  time  found  among  the  Chinese.  It  is  impossible  to  esti- 
mate the  number  of  persons  of  that  race  now  in  the  United  States, 
as  many  have  died  or  returned  to  China  since  1900,  while  others 
have  returned  from  China  to  this  country,  and  men,  women, 
and  children  of  the  eligible  classes  to  the  number  of  19,182  have 
been  admitted  to  the  United  States  between  July  i,  1899,  and 
June  30,  1909.  Moreover,  it  is  acknowledged  by  those  familiar 
with  the  administration  of  the  law  that  some  foreign-born  have 
secured  admission  as  " native  sons,"  while  others  have  been 
smuggled  across  the  Canadian  or  the  Mexican  boundary.  How- 
ever, it  has  become  evident  from  the  investigation  conducted 



by  the  Commission  that  of  the  number  of  Chinese  in  all  of  the 
cities  of  the  West,  many  are  occupied  in  growing  potatoes  and 
the  coarser  vegetables.  Such  interests  are  usually  combined 
with  general  farming,  however. 

The  Portuguese  are  excellent  farmers,  and  frequently,  while 
improving  their  land,  obtain  two  or  three  crops  from  the  same 
field  in  the  course  of  the  year.  In  their  thrift,  investment  of 
savings  in  more  land,  in  the  character  of  their  housing  and  stand- 
ard of  living,  they  are  very  much  like  the  Italians.  In  some 
instances,  however,  their  housing  is  of  a  distinctly  better  type. 
The  one  important  difference  between  the  two  races,  besides 
the  kind  of  crops  usually  produced,  is  found  in  the  fact  that  the 
Italians  cooperate  in  leasing  land,  while  the  Portuguese  are  very 
individualistic  and  seldom  rent  or  own  land  in  partnership. 
Because  of  this  circumstance  and  the  fact  that  the  members  of 
this  race,  unlike  the  Asiatics  and  German-Russians,  have  not 
been  induced  to  settle  upon  the  land  as  a  solution  of  the  labor 
problem,  the  Portuguese,  in  spite  of  their  perseverance  in  their 
efforts  to  establish  themselves  as  independent  farmers,  have 
usually  made  slower  progress  in  this  direction  than  the  Italians, 
Japanese,  and  German-Russians. 

Few  of  the  other  south  European  immigrants  are  engaged  in 
agriculture.  A  few  Greeks  have  become  tenant  farmers,  but 
without  much  success.  About  Watsonville,  California,  a  compar- 
atively large  number  of  Dalmatians  have  engaged  in  apple 
growing,  but  this  instance  perhaps  stands  alone.  In  fact,  immi- 
grants from  the  south  European  countries,  and  the  east  Euro- 
pean as  well,  Italians,  and  Portuguese  excepted,  have  come  to 
the  West  too  recently  to  have  established  themselves.  More- 
over, in  most  cases  the  number  of  transient  laborers  is  large 
as  compared  to  the  number  who  have  come  to  this  country  to 
make  their  permanent  home.  The  principal  exception  to  this 
is  found  in  the  German-Russians,  an  agricultural  people,  who 
have  come  to  this  country  to  escape  heavy  taxation  and  military 
service  and  in  search  of  better  land.  Within  some  twenty  years 
several  thousand  have  come  to  Fresno  County,  California,  where 
they  have  worked  at  unskilled  labor  to  begin  with,  though  a  com- 
paratively large  number  have  been  able  to  establish  themselves 
as  farmers,  which  is  the  goal  practically  all  have  in  view.  The 


acreage  controlled  by  them  is  roughly  estimated  at  5000.  In 
Colorado  there  are  perhaps  between  800  and  900  .tenant  and 
landowning  farmers  of  this  race,  occupying  for  the  greater  part 
holdings  in  excess  of  60  acres  and  not  infrequently  much  larger 
tracts.  This  farming  has  developed  within  the  last  ten  years 
and  has  been  incidental  to  the  growth  of  the  beet-sugar  industry. 
The  sugar  companies  have  brought  large  numbers  of  families 
of  this  race  from  Nebraska  to  do  the  hand  work  involved  in  grow- 
ing sugar  beets.  From  laborers  doing  the  hand  work  on  a  piece 
basis  they  have  rapidly  advanced  to  tenant  and  to  landowning 
farmers.  Their  advance  is  in  part  to  be  ascribed  to  their  great 
industry,  the  labor  of  all  members  of  the  family  except  the  small- 
est children,  to  their  very  great  thrift,  to  the  liberal  advances  of 
capital  made  by  the  sugar  companies,  and  the  credit  extended 
to  them  freely  by  the  banks. 

Not  even  the  Japanese  have  made  as  rapid  advance  as  the 
German-Russians.  A  comparatively  small  number  of  German- 
Russians  are  engaged  in  tenant  farming  in  one  locality  in  Idaho 
also.  They,  too,  were  brought  to  the  community  (from  Port- 
land) by  the  manufacturers  of  beet  sugar,  and  settled  upon  the 
land.  In  their  housing  and  the  number  engaged  in  the  different 
industries  in  which  they  have  found  employment  in  the  past, 
they  have  materially  decreased  within  the  last  decade  or  so.  It  is 
unlikely  that  the  migration  from  the  Coast  States,  mainly  from 
California  to  the  East,  and  the  more  general  distribution  of  Chi- 
nese throughout  the  country,  explain  entirely  the  decreasing 
number  of  persons  of  that  race,  including  the  native-born,  found 
in  the  West. 

The  immigration  of  Chinese  laborers  to  this  country  may  be 
said  to  date  from  the  rush  to  California  in  search  of  gold  sixty 
years  ago.  Within  ten  years  a  relatively  large  number  of  persons 
of  that  race,  more  than  45,000  in  fact,  found  a  place  in  the  popu- 
lation of  that  State.  Before  the  close  of  the  decade  of  the  sixties, 
they  had  engaged  in  a  variety  of  occupations,  as  the  absence  of 
cheap  labor  from  any  other  source,  their  industry  and  organiza- 
tion, and  the  rapid  growth  of  the  country  placed  a  premium 
upon  their  employment.  The  largest  number  (some  20,000  in 
1861)  engaged  in  gold  mining;  several  thousand,  many  of  them 
imported  under  contract,  were  employed  toward  the  end  of  the 


decade  in  the  construction  of  the  Central  Pacific  Railroad, 
which  was  to  form  the  first  of  the  transcontinental  railways 
making  possible  an  influx  of  laborers  from  the  East.  Other 
Chinese  engaged  in  gardening,  laundering,  domestic  service, 
and  hand  labor  in  the  fields,  while  still  others  found  employment 
in  factories  and  workshops  or  engaged  in  business  for  themselves. 
As  domestic  servants  in  San  Francisco,  in  1870,  they  numbered 
1256  out  of  a  total  of  6800,  their  number  being  exceeded  by 
that  of  the  Irish  only,  of  whom  3046  were  reported.  Chinese 
laundrymen  numbered  1333  in  a  total  of  2069  reported.  As 
laborers  in  domestic  and  personal  service  they  numbered  2128 
in  a  total  of  8457.  According  to  the  census  for  1870,  they  num- 
bered 296  of  1551  persons  employed  in  San  Francisco  in  the 
manufacture  of  boots  and  shoes,  1657  °f  the  1811  employed  in 
the  manufacture  of  cigars,  253  of  393  employed  in  the  manufac- 
ture of  woolens,  and  no  of  1223  employed  in  the  manufacture 
of  clothing,  a  total  of  2316  of  a  grand  total  of  4978  employed 
in  these  four  industries.  These  were  the  chief  branches  of  manu- 
facture in  cities  in  which  they  found  employment.  With  the 
development  of  salmon  canning  in  Oregon  and  Washington  dur- 
ing the  eighties  and  still  later  with  the  development  of  the  same 
industry  in  Alaska,  they  were  for  many  years  employed  almost 
exclusively  in  canning,  under  contract,  the  fish  caught  by  white 
fishermen.  They  also  constituted  a  large  percentage,  when  not 
a  majority,  of  the  "powder  makers"  and  general  laborers  em- 
ployed in  powder  factories. 

For  twenty  years,  beginning  in  the  late  sixties,  several  thousand 
found  employment  as  construction  laborers  upon  the  new  rail- 
ways constructed  from  time  to  time  and  as  section  hands  upon 
those  already  constructed.  They  also  found  employment  as 
general  laborers,  engine  wipers  and  boiler  washers,  and  in  other 
occupations  calling  for  little  skill  in  railroad  shops.  Or  still 
previous  to  1870,  as  hand  laborers  in  the  orchards,  fields,  hop- 
yards,  and  vineyards  of  California  north  of  the  Tehachapi,  and 
in  the  canneries  and  other  establishments  incidental  to  conserving 
and  marketing  the  crops  produced.  In  1870  they  numbered 
1637  in  a  total  of  16,231  farm  laborers  reported  by  the  census 
for  California.  Though  the  estimate  made  by  the  California 
bureau  of  labor  in  1886,  that  Chinese  constituted  seven  eighths 


of  the  agricultural  laborers  of  the  State,  was  doubtless  a  great 
exaggeration,  they  did  most  of  the  hand  work,  such  as  hoeing, 
weeding,  pruning,  and  harvesting,  in  all  localities  in  the  central 
and  northern  part  of  the  State  in  which  intensive  farming  was 
carried  on.  Their  presence  and  organization  at  a  time  when 
cheap  and  reliable  white  laborers  were  difficult  to  obtain  made 
possible  the  high  degree  of  specialized  farming  which  came  to 
prevail  in  several  localities.  They  occupied  a  much  less  conspicu- 
ous place  in  the  harvest  work  involved  in  general  farming.  Being 
inefficient  with  teams,  and  white  men  being  available  for  such 
work  in  most  localities,  they  were  practically  limited  to  hand 
work.  In  other  States  than  California  they  found  little  place 
in  agricultural  work,  the  largest  number  being  employed  in  the 
hop  industry  of  the  Northwest.  In  fact,  until  the  eighties  few 
of  the  Chinese  resided  outside  of  California.  This  race  never 
gained  a  place  in  coal  mining  except  in  Wyoming,  where  they 
were  employed  in  the  mines  developed  after  the  completion  of 
the  Union  Pacific  Railway. 

The  ease  with  which  the  Chinese  found  employment  and  the 
place  they  came  to  occupy  in  the. West  is  explained  by  several 
facts.  First  of  all,  they  were  the  cheapest  laborers  available 
for  unskilled  work.  The  white  population  previous  to  the  eighties 
was  drawn  almost  entirely  from  the  eastern  States  and  from 
north  European  countries,  and,  as  in  all  rapidly  developing  com- 
munities, the  number  of  women  and  children  was  comparatively 
small.  According  to  the  census  of  1870,  of  238,648  persons  en- 
gaged in  gainful  occupations  in  California,  46  per  cent  were 
native-born,  13  per  cent  were  born  in  Ireland,  8  per  cent  in  Ger- 
many, 4.8  per  cent  in  England  and  Wales,  2  per  cent  in  France, 
and  1.4  per  cent  in  Italy.  The  Chinese,  with  14  per  cent  of  the 
total,  were  more  numerous  than  the  Irish.  The  Chinese  worked 
for  lower  wages  than  the  white  men  in  the  fields  and  orchards, 
in  the  shoe  factories,  the  cigar  factories,  the  woolen  mills,  and 
later  in  most  of  the  other  industries  in  which  the  two  classes 
were  represented.  As  a  result  of  this,  a  division  of  labor  grew 
up  in  which  the  Chinese  were  very  generally  employed  in  certain 
occupations,  while  white  persons  were  employed  in  other  occu- 
pations requiring  skill,  a  knowledge  of  English,  and  other  quali- 
ties not  possessed  by  the  Asiatics,  and  sufficiently  agreeable 


in  character  and  surroundings  to  attract  white  persons  of  the 
type  at  that  time  found  in  the  population  of  the  West.  Upon 
occasion,  too,  the  lower  cost  of  production  with  Chinese  labor 
caused  more  of  the  work  to  fall  into  their  hands  as  they  became 
well  enough  trained  to  do  it.  Instances  of  this  are  found  in  the 
manufacture  of  cigars  and  shoes  in  San  Francisco. 

Chinese  labor  was  well  organized  and  readily  available;  for 
the  cigar  makers,  shoemakers,  and  tailors,  as  well  as  the  launder- 
ers,  were  organized  into  trade  guilds  with  an  interpreter  and 
agent  or  " bookman"  in  each  white  establishment  in  which  they 
were  employed.  Agricultural  laborers  were  secured  through  a 
"boss"  and  employed  under  his  supervision.  The  same  organi- 
zation was  found  in  fish  canneries,  where  the  work  was  done 
under  contract  at  so  much  per  case,  also  in  the  fruit  and  vegetable 
canneries  —  in  fact  in  all  industries  in  which  more  than  a  few 
men  were  employed.  The  hiring  and  supervision  of  men  in  this 
way  was  convenient  and  of  great  advantage  to  the  employer 
in  such  industries  as  were  seasonal  in  character.  In  agriculture, 
where  several  times  as  many  men  were  wanted  for  a  limited 
period  as  during  the  remainder  of  the  year,  this  organization  of 
labor  placed  a  great  premium  upon  the  Chinese  as  employees. 

In  the  manufacture  of  cigars,  some  manufacturers  state  that 
Chinese  were  found  to  be  much  slower  than  women  and  youths, 
while  in  the  manufacture  of  boots  and  shoes  they  never  attained 
to  highly  skilled  work.  In  other  industries,  however,  they  were 
very  generally  regarded  as  efficient  workers  for  all  kinds  of  hand 
work.  This  is  especially  true  of  fish,  fruit,  and  vegetable  canning 
and  of  all  kinds  of  hand  work  in  orchards  and  vegetable  gardens. 
Though  unprogressive  and  slow,  they  accomplished  much  work 
through  industry  and  long  hours,  and  by  the  exercise  of  care  the 
quality  of  the  work  performed  was  of  a  high  order. 

Finally,  to  mention  only  the  more  important  of  the  facts 
giving  rise  to  an  effective  preference  for  Chinese  for  such  work 
as  they  were  employed  to  do,  in  canneries,  on  the  ranches,  and 
in  other  places  where  the  employees  ordinarily  could  not  live 
at  home,  they  found  favor  because  they  involved  the  least  trouble 
and  expense.  They  provided  their  own  subsistence  where  white 
men,  if  they  did  not  live  close  at  hand,  would  ordinarily  be  pro- 
vided with  board.  Lodgings  were  easily  provided  for  the  Chinese, 


for  whatever  may  be  said  concerning  their  standard  of  living 
as  a  whole,  they  are  gregarious  and  are  less  dissatisfied  when 
" bunked"  in  small  quarters  than  is  any  other  race  thus  far 
employed  in  the  West. 

After  much  ineffective  state  and  local  legislation  in  California 
the  further  immigration  of  Chinese  of  the  laboring  class  was 
forbidden  by  the  first  of  the  federal  exclusion  laws,  enacted  in 
1882.  There  had  been  opposition  to  the  Chinese  in  the  mining 
camps  of  California  as  early  as  1852,  this  finally  leading  to  the 
miners'  license  tax  collected  from  them  alone,  in  the  cigar  trade 
in  San  Francisco  as  early  as  1862,  and  in  other  trades  in  which 
the  Chinese  were  engaged  beginning  somewhat  later.  For  the 
opposition  many  reasons  were  assigned,  but  the  most  important 
appears  to  have  been  race  antipathy  based  upon  color,  language, 
and  race  traits,  which  has  frequently  found  expression  where 
numerous  Chinese  and  white  men  of  the  laboring  classes  have 
been  brought  into  close  contact.  This  feeling  found  expression 
not  only  in  San  Francisco  on  numerous  occasions,  but  in  many 
other  towns  in  California,  in  Tacoma,  where  Chinese  have  not 
been  permitted  to  reside,  and  in  the  riots  at  Rock  Springs, 
Wyoming,  in  1882.  In  public  discussion  many  reasons  were 
advanced  rightly  or  wrongly  for  excluding  the  Chinese,  but  that 
the  opposition  was  more  than  a  part  of  a  labor  movement  is 
evidenced  by  the  fact  that  many  ranchers  who  were  employing 
Chinese  at  the  time  voted  " against  Chinese  immigration"  at 
the  election  held  in  California  in  1879,  at  which  time  the  matter 
of  Chinese  exclusion  was  submitted  to  popular  vote. 

It  has  been  estimated  that  the  number  of  Chinese  in  the 
United  States  at  the  time  the  first  exclusion  act  went  into  effect 
(1882)  was  132,300.  The  number  of  Chinese  laborers  did  not 
diminish  perceptibly  for  several  years  after  this.  More  recently, 
because  of  the  wider  distribution  of  the  Chinese  among  the  States, 
the  decreasing  number  in  the  country,  the  large  percentage  who 
have  grown  old,  a  strong  sentiment  against  employing  Asiatics 
in  manufacture,  and  the  appearance  of  the  Japanese,  a  change 
has  laken  place  in  the  occupations  in  which  the  Chinese  engage. 

During  the  nineties,  with  the  growth  of  the  fishing  industry 
.on  the  Pacific  coast,  the  number  of  Chinese  engaged  in  cannery 
work  has  grown ;  but  owing  to  the  increasing  difficulty  involved 


in  securing  them  and  the  higher  wages  which  they  have  come  to 
command  since  1900,  an  increasing  number  of  Japanese  and, 
very  recently,  Filipinos,  have  been  employed. 

During  the  year  1909  some  3000  Chinese  were  employed  in 
canneries  in  Oregon,  Washington,  and  Alaska,  most  of  them 
migrating  from  San  Francisco  and  Portland.  The  number  of 
Japanese  employed  was  approximately  the  same.  Both  races 
are  employed  in  the  great  majority  of  the  establishments,  a 
Chinese  ordinarily  having  the  contract  for  the  work  done,  em- 
ploying his  countrymen  for  the  more  skilled  work,  and  Japanese, 
under  a  Japanese  "boss,"  and  other  persons  for  the  less  skilled 
occupations.  The  Chinese  command  much  higher  wages  than 
the  Japanese.  In  fruit  and  vegetable  canning  in  California  per- 
haps 1000  or  more  Chinese  are  employed.  Of  750  men  employed 
in  six  asparagus  canneries  on  the  Sacramento  River,  nearly 
all  are  Chinese  secured  through  one  Chinese  "boss."  Most  of 
the  others  are  employed  in  two  canneries  operated  by  Chinese 
companies.  In  other  canneries  European  immigrants  of  the 
newer  type,  chiefly  Italians,  Greeks,  and  Portuguese,  have  been 
substituted  for  them.  In  some  instances  where  Chinese  were 
formerly  employed  but  were  discharged  by  their  employers 
because  of  the  feeling  against  the  race  or  because  of  public  criti- 
cism, Asiatics  are  not  now  employed. 

Few  Chinese  are  now  employed  in  railway  work.  As  section 
hands  they  had  all  but  disappeared  ten  years  or  more  ago,  and 
the  number  still  employed  in  railway  shops  is  small.  As  they  grew 
old  and  their  numbers  diminished  so  that  they  could  not  furnish 
a  large  percentage  of  the  laborers  required,  their  departure  was 
hastened  by  the  well-organized  Japanese,  who  took  employment 
at  the  same  wages  (and  less  than  was  paid  to  other  races) ,  though 
the  Chinese  are  almost  universally  regarded  as  better  "help" 
than  the  Japanese  except  in  such  occupations  about  the  shops 
as  require  adaptability  and  progressiveness.  The  Chinese  were 
in  part  replaced  by  other  races  before  Japanese  became  avail- 
able, and  where  this  was  done  it  was  generally  at  a  higher  wage, 
except  in  the  case  of  the  Mexicans,  than  the  Chinese  had  received. 

The  Chinese  engaged  in  agriculture  were  very  largely  replaced 
by  Japanese.  The  Chinese  engaged  in  the  growing  of  sugar  beets 
were  underbid  and  displaced  by  the  more  progressive  and  quicker 


Japanese  and  have  all  but  absolutely  disappeared  from  the 
industry.  In  the  hop  industry  the  Japanese  underbid  the  Chinese 
as  the  Chinese  had  the  white  men.  Because  of  this  fact  and  the 
further  fact  that  the  Japanese  had  the  same  convenient  organiza- 
tion and  were  more  numerous,  the  Chinese  have  come  to  occupy 
a  comparatively  unimportant  place  in  that  industry.  The  same 
is  true  in  the  deciduous-fruit  industry,  though  Chinese  lease 
orchards  and  in  almost  every  locality  are  employed  in  compara- 
tively large  groups  on  some  of  the  older  ranches.  The  largest 
amount  of  land  is  leased  by  them  and  the  largest  number  of  them 
are  employed  for  wages  in  the  orchards  and  on  the  large  tracts 
devoted  to  the  production  of  vegetables  on  the  Sacramento  and 
San  Joaquin  rivers.  In  a  few  localities  they  migrate  from  place 
to  place  for  seasonal  work,  but  such  instances  have  become 
exceptional.  Nearly  all  work  in  the  same  place  throughout  the 
year.  Moreover,  as  the  Japanese  have  advanced  the  Chinese 
have  leased  fewer  orchards  and  withdrawn  to  grow  vegetables 
or  have  gone  to  the  towns  and  cities.  Though  the  number  em- 
ployed in  agricultural  work  is  by  no  means  small,  they  are  no 
longer  a  dominant  factor  in  the  labor  supply,  and  especially 
in  that  required  for  harvesting  the  crops.  The  place  once  occupied 
by  them  has  for  several  years  been  occupied  by  the  Japanese. 

The  number  of  Chinese  engaged  in  mining  has  for  many  years 
been  small,  some  40  in  coal  mining  in  Wyoming  as  against  several 
hundred  formerly  employed  there,  and  several  hundred  as  against 
many  thousand  in  gold  mining  in  California. 

Many  Chinese  are  living  in  the  small  towns  of  the  West,  en- 
gaged in  laundry  work,  petty  business,  and  gambling,  or  rather 
conducting  places  for  gambling.  The  laundries  are  patronized 
chiefly  by  white  people,  the  shops  by  Chinese,  and  the  gambling 
places  by  Chinese  and  Japanese.  In  San  Francisco  they  are 
much  less  conspicuously  employed  in  domestic  service  and  manu- 
facture than  formerly.  Most  of  those  engaged  in  domestic  serv- 
ice are  high-priced  cooks  in  private  families  and  in  saloons. 
They  now  have  a  scarcity  value.  The  most  recently  published 
estimate  made  by  the  assessor  for  the  city  and  county  of  San 
Francisco  of  the  number  of  Chinese  engaged  in  manufacture 
(in  San  Francisco)  was,  for  1903,  2420,  the  branches  of  manu- 
facture having  more  than  100  being  cigar  making,  with  800 


Chinese  in  a  total  of  1300 ;  clothing,  with  250  in  a  total  of  1050 ; 
shirt  making,  with  300  in  a  total  of  1500,  and  shoemaking,  with 
250  in  a  total  of  950.  Their  numbers  in  all  of  these,  cases  are 
smaller  than  formerly.  In  shoe  and  cigar  making  many  were 
discharged  during  the  seventies  and  eighties  because  of  public 
criticism  or  fear  of  boycott.  When  white  persons  were  substi- 
tuted it  was,  in  some  cases  at  least,  at  a  higher  wage  and  for  a 
shorter  work  day.  At  present  the  Chinese  employed  are  among 
the  low  paid  laborers  in  " white  shops."  The  same  is  true  of 
those  employed  in  powder  factories,  where  the  number  is  much 
smaller  than  formerly. 

The  assessment  roll  for  1908  shows  20  cigar  factories,  3  broom 
factories,  i  shoe  factory,  and  5  overall  factories  conducted  by 
Chinese  in  San  Francisco.  By  far  the  largest  number  of  Chinese, 
however,  some  1000,  are  ejnployed  in  the  100  Chinese  laundries. 
The  other  branches  of  business  are  of  comparatively  little  impor- 
tance save  the  art  and  curio  stores  which  are  conducted  by  busi- 
ness men  from  China.  Of  the  Chinese  in  other  cities  much  the 
same  may  be  said,  except  that  they  occupy  no  important  place 
in  manufacture  and  that  they  frequently  conduct  cheap  restau- 
rants, patronized  largely  by  workingmen.  In  Portland  they  also 
conduct  numerous  tailor  shops.  On  the  whole,  the  Chinese  have 
not  shown  the  same  progressiveness  and  competitive  ability 
either  in  industry  or  in  business  for  themselves  as  the  Japanese. 
They  have,  however,  occupied  a  more  important  place  in  manu- 
facture, especially  in  San  Francisco,  where,  until  within  the  last 
twenty  years,  little  cheap  labor  has  been  available  from  other 





LET  me  have  the  pleasure  of  raising  the  question  at  the  outset 
as  to  what  is  the  Chinese  Exclusion  Law.  What  is  the  es- 
sence of  the  spirit  of  it  all?  Is  it  born  of  justice  or  otherwise? 
I  think  if  you  will  take  the  pains  and  trouble  of  finding  it  out  for 
your  own  satisfaction  and  information,  you  will  readily  observe 
that  the  Exclusion  Law  is  the  outcome  of  a  long  series  of  unwise 
legislation  hi  one  of  the  chapters  of  American  history. 

To  be  sure,  the  trouble  dated  back  to  the  time  when  the 
Chinese  and  their  Occidental  brothers  first  came  in  contact 
with  one  another  in  the  days  of  '49  —  in  the  days  of  mad  rush 
after  gold  in  California,  and  railroad  construction  on  the  western 

Doubtless  there  were  differences,  strife,  and  contention  among 
them  in  the  placer  mines,  which  would  inevitably  arise  when 
people  of  divers  tongues,  manners,  and  customs  come  together 
for  the  first  time.  It  was  even  difficult  for  the  working  people 
of  the  various  European  nations  to  get  along  well  together  in  the 
earlier  days  of  California,  but  we  can  easily  imagine  the  greater 
differences  existing  between  the  Chinese  and  the  white  people 
whose  religion  and  education  have  made  them  think  and  act 
entirely  different  from  one  another.  In  consequence,  misun- 
derstanding and  discord  were  bound  to  arise.  The  early  politi- 
cal leaders  and  other  agitators,  instead  of  attempting  to  alleviate 
conditions,  instilled  in  the  people  at  large  hatred  and  prejudice 
which  I  think  you  will  agree  with  me  were  unwarranted  and 

However,  we  must  not  forget  that  most  of  these  Chinese 
laborers  came  here  at  that  time,  at  the  invitation  of  the  United 

1  Printed  by  The  American  Sociological  Society  and  the  Committee  of  One 
Hundred,  Federal  Council  of  Churches  in  America,  August,  1915. 



States.  The  right  of  so  coming  of  the  Chinese  people  was  guar- 
anteed under  solemn  treaty  between  China  and  the  United 
States,  which  treaty  existed  until  1880.  The  Chinese  were  then 
no  longer  desirable,  and  because  of  all  these  agitations  and 
clamor  of  all  the  mischief-makers,  the  government  of  this  coun- 
try had  committed  itself  to  an  act  which  justice  cannot  defend. 
You  know  the  United  States  solemnly  agreed  in  said  treaty  that 
the  coming  of  Chinese  laborers  may  be  suspended  but  never 
absolutely  prohibited.  But  since  that  time  the  United  States 
prohibited  Chinese  immigration  and  thus  the  government  broke 
faith  with  China  by  passing  a  law  in  direct  violation  of  said 
treaty,  and  the  courts  have  aided  in  said  violation  by  deciding 
that  Congress  had  the  right  to  pass  such  an  act. 

The  American  Christian  missionary  in  China  from  that  time 
on  found  their  good  work  seriously  hindered.  Thus  you  see 
that  from  time  immemorial  political  leaders,  demagogues,  and 
agitators  resorted  to  misrepresentation,  falsehood,  and  vehemence 
to  secure  their  political  jobs  and  favors,  and  they  did  not  dare 
say  anything  favorable  to  the  Chinese.  I  need  not  labor  much 
longer  upon  this  point.  Suffice  it  to  indicate  that  all  this  agitation 
directed  against  the  Chinese  by  political  demagogues  was  respon- 
sible for  the  Exclusion  Act.  The  act  excluding  the  Chinese  immi- 
gration was  not  tempered  with  justice  or  a  square  deal.  The 
Exclusion  Law  to-day  is  nothing  but  the  culmination  of  all  the 
early  agitators.  The  reason  for  excluding  Chinese  people  is 
racial,  not  economic.  As  a  noted  lawyer  of  this  c*oast  once  said : 
"We  are  afflicted  with  the  malady  of  race  hatred;  and  infected 
with  this  disease.  Everything  that  the  Oriental  does  is,  to  our 
sick  vision,  distorted  into  an  offense  which  causes  us  to  vomit 
forth  at  home  our  rancor  and  spleen." 

All  we  ask  of  the  American  Government  is  to  give  the  Chinese 
fair  treatment  and  not  favor  in  the  matter  of  exclusion,  and  give 
us  the  same  treatment  as  is  accorded  to  people  of  other  nationali- 
ties. I  wish  I  had  time  to  enter  into  details  regarding  the  differ- 
ences in  which  the  people  of  other  nations  are  treated.  The 
Exclusion  Law  does  not  only  exclude  all  Chinese  laborers,  or 
coolies  as  you  call  them,  but  it  inflicts  tremendous  hardships 
upon  the  Chinese  of  the  exempt  classes ;  that  is,  merchants, 
travelers,  students,  and  teachers,  and  even  officials  at  times. 


It  seems  that  it  is  much  easier  for  them  to  enter  Heaven  than 
to  set  foot  on  the  American  continent,  even  when  they  enter  this 
port  with  the  Consul's  Certificate  or  other  documents  issued 
and  signed  by  American  diplomatic  agents  in  China. 

The  spirit  of  the  Exclusion  Law  is  to  exclude  the  coolie  class, 
but  it  was  certainly  not  intended  to  hinder  those  who  are  above 
the  coolie  class  when  they  are  properly  vouched  for  by  the  Ameri- 
can Consular  or  Immigration  Agent  in  China.  On  presentation 
of  the  proper  certificate  they  ought  to  be  permitted  to  land  with- 
out much  ado.  When  the  officials  place  all  these  obstacles  in 
our  way,  can  it  be  said  that  they  are  acting  in  a  spirit  of  justice  ? 
The  Exclusion  Law  as  it  stands  is  a  discrimination  against  a 
single  nation,  a  legislation  against  a  race  of  people,  branding 
them  as  being  totally  unworthy  of  the  privilege  of  travel,  resi- 
dence, or  citizenship  in  the  United  States.  I  frankly  admit  that 
there  must  be  restriction  for  immigrants  coming  into  this  country, 
but  the  restriction  ought  to  be  applied  to  Oriental  and  Occi- 
dental people  alike.  There  should  be  no  unfair  discrimination 
against  a  single  nation,  especially  when  that  nation  believes  in 
peace  and  righteousness  so  firmly  that  it  scorns  to  think  that  it 
has  to  be  maintained  or  enforced  by  might. 

I  sincerely  hope  to  see  the  Exclusion  Law  altered  to  read, 
.Restriction  Law.  If  you  do  that  you  will  have  done  much  in 
removing  the  only  element  of  friction  between  the  two  most 
friendly  republics  on  each  side  of  the  Pacific.  Aside  from  her 
objection  to  the  Exclusion  Law,  China  has  every  reason  to  be 
thankful  to  the  United  States.  Political  leaders  and  wild  agita- 
tors in  this  country  have  inflicted  much  harm  upon  the  Chinese 
people  in  the  name  of  the  Exclusion  Law,  while,  on  the  other 
hand,  many  statesmen  have  bestowed  much  good  and  many 
blessings  upon  China. 

China  cannot  help  but  hold  the  United  States  in  grateful 
memory.  I  say  exactly  what  I  mean,  and  mean  what  I  say. 
The  United  States  is  the  only  powerful  nation  that  has  not  at 
any  time  resorted  to  methods  of  bullying,  coercing,  or  browbeat- 
ing China  for  the  sake  of  commercial  gain.  ,In  short,  she  is  ever 
ready  to  stretch  forth  a  helping  hand  in  any  crisis  that  China 
might  have  to  pass  through.  Who  helped  to  preserve  the  integ- 
rity of  China  by  means  of  the  open  door  policy,  but  the  United 


States?  Who  took  the  lead  in  returning  a  portion  of  the  Boxer 
indemnity  fund  which  the  powers  extorted  out  of  China,  but  the 
United  States?  Which  was  the  first  power  to  recognize  the 
establishment  of  the  Republic  of  China,  but  the  United  States? 
Who  is  doing  the  best  medical  and  educational  work  in  China, 
but  the  United  States?  Counting  up  the  blessings  one  by  one 
we  have  much  indeed  to  be  thankful  for  to  the  United  States. 

So  you  can  readily  see  that  the  Exclusion  Law  is  the  only 
obstacle  in  the  way  of  the  most  friendly  relations  between  the 
two  nations.  Removing  that,  you  will  have  a  great  admirer  in 
the  younger  republic  of  the  world. 

America  has  always  set  a  noble  example  to  the  world  and  a 
striking  illustration  is  her  position  of  neutrality  in  the  present 
great  war.  As  one  great  American  said:  " She  ought  to  decree 
such  wise  things  and  such  right  things  that  she  shall  be  considered 
a  leader  to  the  free  nations  of  the  earth." 

The  best  means,  therefore,  of  modifying  the  Exclusion  Law  is 
for  the  Christian  people  as  well  as  all  fair-minded  Americans, 
to  band  together  and  educate  and  awaken  the  public  opinion  to 
the  realization  of  the  fact  that  there  is  but  very  little  spirit  of 
justice  in  the  Exclusion  Law.  You  will  then  have  accomplished 
much  in  getting  rid  of  the  little  element  of  friction  between  the 
two  countries,  and  you  will  have  exemplified  to  the  wide  world 
that  America  is  a  land  full  of  noble  impulse  for  justice  and 




IT  IS  now  twenty-five  years  since  I  landed  in  the  United  States 
with  a  group  of  Slovaks  from  the  district  of  Scharosh  in 

I  followed  them  across  the  sea  and  watched  this  historic  move- 
ment of  the  Slavs,  who  until  then  had  remained  practically 
dormant  where  they  had  been  left  by  the  glacier-like  move- 
ment of  their  race,  the  pressure  of  the  invader,  or  the  fate  which 
governed  Eastern  European  politics. 

It  was  a  fascinating  experience  to  see  these  forgotten  children 
of  an  unresponsive  soil  coming  in  touch  with  a  civilization  of 
which  they  had  never  dreamed ;  to  see  the  struggle  of  emotions 
in  their  usually  impassive  faces,  as  they  saw  the  evidences  of 
European  culture  and  wealth  in  the  Northern  cities  through 
which  we  passed. 

What  fear  crept  into  their  hearts  and  drove  the  healthy  blood 
from  their  cheeks  when  for  the  first  time  they  saw  the  turbu- 
lent sea. 

The  ocean  was  vaster  and  the  fear  of  it  most  real  to  us  who 
sailed  out  of  Bremerhaven  in  the  steerage  of  the  steamer  Fulda; 
for  we  were  the  forerunners  of  a  vast  army  of  men  which  had 
scarcely  begun  to  think  of  leaving  its  age-long  bivouac.  The 
Slav  has  never  taken  kindly  to  the  sea,  and  the  more  held 
unconquered  terrors. 

It  is  difficult  now  to  describe  the  incidents  of  that  first  landing 
in  New  York,  for  in  rapid  succession  the  experience  has  been  so 
often  repeated ;  and  all  the  joys,  fears,  and  hopes  which  repeatedly 
I  have  shared  with  hundreds  and  thousands  of  men  are  so  blended 
in  my  memory  into  one  great  wonder,  that  either  analysis  or 
description  seems  vain. 



It  is  strange  and  yet  natural,  no  doubt,  that  I  remember 
the  trivial  incidents  of  that  first  landing.  The  attempt  on  the 
part  of  some  of  my  Slovaks  to  eat  bananas  without  removing 
the  skins;  their  first  acquaintance  with  mince  pie,  which  they 
declared  a  barbarous  dish;  our  first  meal  on  American  soil, 
in  a  third-rate  boarding-house  for  immigrants,  and  the  injunc- 
tion of  one  of  the  earlier  comers:  " Don't  wait  for  anybody, 
but  grab  all  you  can.  In  this  country  the  motto  is :  'Happy  is 
the  man  who  can  help  himself ! ' ' 

I  remember  the  lonely  feeling  that  crept  over  us  as  we  found 
ourselves  like  driftwood  in  the  great  current  of  humanity  in  the 
city  of  New  York,  and  the  fear  we  had  of  every  one  who  was 
at  all  friendly;  for  we  had  been  warned  against  sharpers.  I 
remember  our  pleasure  in  the  picturesque  ferryboat  which 
carried  us  to  New  Jersey,  its  walking  beam  seeming  like  the 
limbs  of  some  great  monster  crossing  the  water. 

Then  crowding  fast  upon  one  another  come  memories  of  hard 
tasks  in  gruesome  mines  and  ghostly  breakers ;  the  sight  of  lick- 
ing flames  like  fiery  tongues  darting  out  at  us,  from  furnaces  full 
of  bubbling,  boiling  metal ;  the  circling  camps  of  the  coke  burn- 
ers who  kept  their  night's  vigil  by  the  altars  of  the  Fire  God. 

There  are  memories  of  dark  ravines  and  mud  banks,  choked 
by  refuse  of  mill  and  mine ;  the  miners'  huts,  close  together,  as 
if  space  were  as  scarce  on  the  earth  as  compassion  for  the  stranger. 

I  remember  the  kindness  of  the  poor,  the  hospitality  of  the 
crowded,  the  hostility  of  the  richer  and  stronger,  who  feared 
that  we  would  drive  them  from  their  diggings ;  and  the  unbelief 
of  those  to  whom  I  early  began  preaching  the  humanity  of  the 
Slav  —  rough  and  uncouth,  but  human  still,  although  he  has 
scarcely  ever  had  a  fair  chance  to  prove  it. 

Of  the  names  of  the  various  towns  through  which  I  passed, 
in  which  I  worked  and  watched,  I  particularly  remember 
four :  Connellsville,  Scranton,  Wilkes-Barre,  Pennsylvania,  and 
Streator,  Illinois,  all  of  them  typical  coal  towns.  In  none  of 
them  were  my  people  received  with  open  arms,  although  they 
rarely  met  with  organized  hostility. 

In  Scranton  and  in  Streator,  they  still  remember  our  coming 
and  our  staying.  Since  then,  I  have  repeatedly  visited  all  these 
four  places  upon  errands  of  investigation  and  interpretation. 


I  always  dreaded  going  back  to  them;  not  only  because  it 
would  revive  painful  memories  of  a  very  hard  apprenticeship, 
but  because  I  could  not  avoid  asking  myself  if  the  optimism 
with  which  I  have  treated  the  problem  of  immigration,  by  voice 
and  pen,  would  be  justified. 

What  if  the  Americans  in  these  cities  should  say : 

We  have  lived  with  these  Slavs  for  twenty-five  years  and  more; 
we  have  been  with  them  day  after  day,  while  you  have  flitted  about 
the  country.  We  know  better  than  you  do.  We  told  you  the  "Hun- 
key"  was  a  menace  when  he  came,  and  he  is  a  menace  still. 

f^f  well  know  that  my  readers  and  my  auditors  have  often  criti- 
cized my  optimism,  and  especially  the  sympathetic  note  with 
which  I  approach  this  problem,  regarding  which  they  are  always 
more  skeptical  the  more  remote  they  are  from  it. 

I  have  tried  to  modify  my  view  of  the  problem  by  facing  it 
in  all  its  bearings;  I  have  not  shrunk  from  seeing  the  worst  of 
it.  In  fact  I  know  American  cities  best  from  that  dark  and 
clouded  side.  I  know  the  Little  Italics,  the  Ghettos,  the  Patches 
around  the  mines,  the  East  Side  of  New  York  and  the  West 
Side  of  Chicago ;  although  I  have  never  been  the  full  length  of 
Fifth  Avenue  and  have  never  seen  the  famous  North  Shore 

I  am  familiar  with  penitentiaries,  jails,  police  courts,  and  even 
worse  places ;  for  I  wanted  to  know  to  what  depths  these  leaden 
souls  can  sink,  and  I  fear  that  I  have  more  anxiety  as  to  their 
nativity  than  their  destiny.  Yet,  having  seen  the  worst  of  the 
bad,  I  never  lost  my  faith  in  these  lesser  folk  and  my  optimism 
remained  unclouded.  One  fear  alone  assailed  me;  that  what 
my  critics  said  to  me  and  of  me  was  true.  "He  is  an  immigrant 
himself,  and  of  course  it  is  natural  that  he  should  see  the  brighter 
side  of  the  problem."  To  me,  that  was  the  severest  and  most 
cutting  criticism,  just  because  I  feared  it  might  be  true ;  yet  I 
have  honestly  tried  to  see  the  darkest  side  of  this  question,  both 
as  it  affected  the  immigrant  and  the  country  that  received  him. 

I  have  listened  patiently  to  jeremiads  of  home  mission  secre- 
taries about  these  "Godless  foreigners."  I  have  read  the  reports 
of  Immigrant  Commissions,  and  all  the  literature  written  the 
last  few  years  upon  this  subject,  and  I  am  still  optimistic,  and 


disagree  with  much  that  I  have  heard  and  read.  Many  authors 
who  have  written  regarding  this  question  had  no  first-hand  in- 
formation about  it.  They  knew  neither  the  speech  nor  the 
genius  of  these  new  people ;  they  had  a  fixed  belief  that  all  civiliza- 
tion, culture,  and  virtue,  belong  to  the  north  of  Europe  and  that 
the  east  and  southeast  of  that  continent  are  its  limbo ;  and  they 
relied  upon  statistics,  which  at  best  are  misleading,  when  used 
to  estimate  human  conduct  and  human  influences. 

Typical  of  this  class  of  literature  is  a  recent  pamphlet  upon 
the  subject,  which,  judging  from  the  excellent  bibliography  ap- 
pended, must  be  based  upon  extensive  reading ;  yet  the  author 
comes  to  this  conclusion : 

Assimilation  in  the  twentieth  century  is  a  very  different  matter 
from  assimilation  in  the  nineteenth.  In  many  respects,  the  new  immi- 
gration is  as  bad  as  the  old  was  good.1 

There  are  several  facts  which  this  author  has  forgotten,  as 
have  those  from  whom  he  draws.  First,  the  older  immigrant 
is  not  yet  assimilated.  In  the  agricultural  counties  of  Mr. 
Edwards'  own  state,  there  are  townships  in  which  the  English 
language  is  a  foreign  tongue,  although  the  second  generation 
of  Germans  already  plows  the  fertile  fields  of  Wisconsin;  and 
there  are  cities  where  the  Germans  have  thoroughly  assimilated 
the  Americans. 

There  are  places  of  no  mean  size  in  Pennsylvania,  which  are  as 
German  as  they  were  200  years  ago,  and  as  far  as  the  Irish  every- 
where are  concerned,  it  is  still  a  question  what  we  shall  be  when 
they  have  done  with  us. 

I  venture  to  predict  that  the  twentieth  century  immigrant 
will  assimilate  much  more  quickly  and  completely  than  the 
immigrants  of  the  eighteenth  and  the  early  half  of  the  nineteenth 
centuries  assimilated. 

Beside  the  fact  that  the  process  is  going  on  much  more  rapidly 
than  ever  before,  as  I  asserted,  my  theories  are  corroborated 
by  Professor  Ross,  of  the  University  of  Wisconsin,  whose  book 
is  suggestive  if  not  conclusive.  Speaking  of  the  assimilation  of 
the  immigrant,  he  says : 

1  "  Studies  on  American  Social  Conditions — Immigration."  By  Richard 
Henry  Edwards,  p.  9. 



On  the  whole,  those  who  come  now  Americanize  much  more  readily 
than  did  the  non- English  immigrants  of  the  seventeenth  and  eight- 
eenth centuries.  Not  only  do  they  come  from  lesser  peoples  and  from 
humbler  social  strata,  but,  thanks  to  the  great  role  the  United  States 
plays  in  the  world,  the  American  culture  meets  with  far  more  prestige 
than  it  had  then.  Although  we  have  ever  greater  masses  to  assimilate, 
let  us  comfort  ourselves  with  the  fact  that  the  vortical  suction  of 
our  civilization  is  stronger  now  than  even  before.1 

Neither  is  any  one  prepared  to  prove  that  the  "new  immigrant 
is  as  bad  as  the  old  was  good." 

It  is  very  interesting  that  when  authors  and  speakers  quote 
statistics,  as  they  usually  do,  to  prove  the  criminal  nature  of 
the  new  immigrant,  they  do  not  differentiate  between  the  older 
and  the  newer  groups.  If  they  did,  and  would  let  statistics 
determine  the  issue,  they  would  find  that  the  new  immigrant  is 
good  and  the  old  bad ;  yes,  very  bad. 

The  following  tables,  quoted  from  the  Report  of  the  Commis- 
sion of  Immigration  of  the  State  of  New  York,  are  worthy  the 
close  study  of  Mr.  Edwards  and  the  authors  upon  whom  he  has 


DURING   1904 





Aggregate  . 

"2    6?0 



Total  white    




Native  white 

2  266 

16  7^0 

10  O2<C 

Native  white  of  native  parentage  
Native  white  of  foreign  parentage      
Native  white  of  mixed  parentage 



I   ^O^ 


Native  white  of  unknown  parentage  
Foreign-born  whites 

I  O7Z 

8  1  58 


Whites  of  unknown  nativity      





•2  -2Q 

I    T2Q 





Indians       .... 




Social  Psychology,"  Ross,  p.  140. 
2  Report  of  Commission  of  Immigration  of  the  State  of  New  York,  pp.  182  and 














6  3 





o  ^ 



England  and  \Vales 


6  2 


8  i 

France          .          ..... 


i  8 




•    212 



l^.  o 


T  r 

I  4. 


I  O 



I?  7 

•2  r6o 












O  7 









I  IO 




Scotland            .... 


i  6 

2  2O 




i.  T. 








Other  countries     













All  paupers  admitted 10,272 

Per  cent  of  white  paupers  admitted  :  x 

Native -    .     .  44.0  per  cent. 

Foreign-born 56.0  per  cent. 









England  and  Wales     ...               


Canada  (including  Newfoundland)                             .... 


Scandinavia  .          


France                                                                             .... 


Scotland  ....          .                             


Italy                                                                                       .     . 



Hungary  and  Bohemia                                                .... 




.  4.0 


Grand  total                                                                    •     • 




What  is  more  striking  still  is  the  following  table  which  seems 
to  prove  that  the  new  immigrant  does  not  increase  his  percentage 
in  the  criminal  column  materially,  in  fact  that  there  is  a  slight 
tendency  to  decrease  it.1 









Under  one  year     




I  O 

One  year 




2  8 

Two  years    .          


*  8 


*  6 

Three  years  




7    A 

Four  years 


3  6 

1  77 

2  2 

Over  four  years     


71?  3 

7  14.3 

87  o 

Totals  .                       .              f 

I  OQ4. 


8  217 


I  am  not  trying  to  prove  that  the  old  immigration  was  worse 
than  the  new ;  I  do  not  believe  that  these  statistics  prove  it,  in 
spite  of  their  appearing  to.  But  they  do  prove  conclusively 
that  statistics  of  this  kind  are  absolutely  unreliable  in  furnishing 
tests  of  the  moral  fiber  of  this  or  that  group. 

Far  more  reliable  is  the  verdict  of  various  communities  after 
twenty-five  years'  experience  with  the  new  immigrant. 

Take  for  example  the  city  of  Streator,  111.,  which  has  steadily 
grown  in  size  and  in  the  number  and  variety  of  its  industrial 
establishments;  a  development  which  could  not  have  taken 
place  without  the  new*  immigrant.  There  are  certain  unprofitable 
seams  in  the  mines  which  the  English-speaking  miners  would  not 
have  worked ;  even  as  there  are  less  profitable  veins  which  the 
Slav  does  not  care  to  touch  and  which  are  being  worked  by  Sicil- 
ians, new  upon  the  scene. 

It  is  true  that  out  of  the  500  Welsh  miners  there  are  only 
about  fifty  left ;  but  the  450  were  pushed  up  and  not  out,  and 

Lare  in  no  position  to  complain.  They  have  moved  on  to  farms 
and  have  grown  prosperous,  while  some  of  the  most  lucrative 
business  in  the  city  is  theirs. 

It  does  seem  a  great  pity  that  a  skilled  trade  like  mining  should 
x  have  passed  into  the  hands  of  unskilled  laborers ;  but  for  this, 

1  Report  of  Commission  of  Immigration  of  the  State  of  New  York,  p.  183. 


the  invention  of  machinery  is  to  blame,  and  not  the  foreigner. 
Had  comparatively  cheap  labor  been  unavailable,  the  genius 
of  the  American  would  not  have  stopped  until  he  had  all  but 
eliminated  the  human  element,  as  he  has  done  in  many  other 
trades  in  which  unskilled  foreign  labor  is  not  a  factor. 

Twenty-five  years  ago  I  "squatted"  near  mine  No.  3  with 
my  men  from  Scharosh.  It  was  as  wretched  a  patch  as  miners' 
patches  always  are.  We  bunked  twenty  in  a  room  and  took  as 
good  care  of  our  bodies  as  conditions  permitted ;  so  that  when 
we  went  down- town  we  were  cleanly  if  not  stylish. 

My  men  soon  learned  to  drink  whisky  like  the  Irish,  swear 
like  the  English,  and  dress  like  the  Americans. 

After  twenty-five  years  the  patches  around  the  mines  in  Streator 
are  practically  gone,  and  the  homes  there  are  as  good  as  the  Welsh 
or  English  miners  ever  had.  Some  of  the  newer  additions  in  that 
growing  city  are  occupied  entirely  by  Slavs  and  do  them  credit. 

Nor  has  the  Slav  been  content  to  remain  in'  the  mines;  he, 
too,  has  begun  to  move  out  and  up.  He  owns  saloons  and  sightly 
stores  in  which  his  sons  and  daughters  clerk,  and  it  would  take 
a  very  keen  student  of  race  characteristics  to  distinguish  the 
Slavs  from  the  native  Americans. 

"Do  you  see  that  young  man  at  the  entrance  to  the  Chautauqua?" 
said  Mr.  Williams,  its  public  spirited  secretary. 

"Racially,  his  father  is  as  sharply  marked  a  man  as  I  have  ever 
seen,  and  the  son,  a  graduate  of  Harvard,  looks  as  if  his  forefathers 
had  all  grown  up  in  the  salt  air  of  the  New  England  coast." 

Here  in  Streator  were  the  people  who  have  lived  with  the  new 
immigrant  a  quarter  of  a  century  and  more,  and  I  have  spoken 
to  them  three  times,  in  my  most  optimistic  vein ;  many  a  man 
and  woman  have  said : 

You  are  right,  they  make  splendid  citizens. 

They  are  good  neighbors. 

They  are  as  human  as  we  are,  and  they  are  proving  it. 

This,  in  spite  of  the  fact  that  in  Streator  as  in  Connellsville 
and  in  hundreds  of  industrial  towns,  they  have  been  met  with 
suspicion  and  have  been  treated  with  injustice  ! 


"They  are  a  great  strain  upon  our  political  institutions,"  said 
Mr.  Williams,  himself  once  a  Welsh  miner,  pushed  out  of  the 
mine  by  the  Slav  and  now  one  of  the  leading  citizens  of  Streator. 

But  Mr.  Williams  knows  that  the  year  I  lived  in  Streator,  when 
the  Slav  had  no  vote  or  influence,  politics  in  that  city  were  already 
corrupt  and  that  the  corrupters  were  native  Americans,  whose 
ancestors  harked  back  to  the  Mayflower,  and  who  were  rewarded 
for  their  corruption  by  high  political  offices.  In  truth,  when  the 
Slav  came  to  this  country,  there  was  nothing  left  to  corrupt, 
in  Scranton  or  Wilkes-Barre,  in  Connellsville  or  Streator;  or, 
indeed,  in  all  Pennsylvania  and  Illinois.  The  Slav  now  has  some 
political  power ;  but  as  yet  he  has  not  produced  the  "grafter."  I 
do  not  say  that  he  will  not ;  but  when  he  does,  small  blame  to  him. 

In  one  of  the  four  cities  which  I  have  mentioned,  I  shared  with 
a  group  of  Poles  the  vicissitudes  of  the  first  few  weeks  in  a 
boarding-house,  a  combination  of  saloon  and  hotel,  common  in 
Pennsylvania,  and  usually  offering  more  bar  than  board. 

One  evening  an  American  came  among  us,  a  splendid  type 
of  agile  manhood.  When  my  men  saw  him,  they  said,  "This  is 
a  prince!"  They  did  not  know  that  he  was  a  politician.  He 
shook  hands  with  every  one  of  us,  and  I  said  to  the  men,  "This 
is  democracy ! "  Poor  fool !  I  did  not  know  that  it  was  the  day 
before  election. 

Then  he  marched  the  men  to  the  bar,  and  said  to  the  barkeeper : 
"Fill  'em  up."  And  as  they  drank  the  fiery  stuff,  no  doubt 
they  thought  they  were  in  Heaven,  and  forgot  that  they  were 
in  Pennsylvania.  When  the  whisky  took  effect,  they  were 
marched  into  a  large  hall,  where  other  Poles,  drunk  as  they, 
were  congregated ;  speeches  were  made,  full  of  the  twaddle  of 
political  jargon  which  they  did  not  understand,  and  when  morn- 
ing came,  these  Poles,  so  intoxicated  that  they  did  not  know 
whether  they  were  North  Poles  or  South  Poles,  were  marched 
to  the  voting-place  and  sworn  in. 

I  have  told  this  story  in  each  of  the  four  places  referred  to, 
and  in  the  place  where  it  occurred,  a  judge,  who  was  among  my 
audience,  said  to  me  : 

"Don't  tell  that  story  again." 

"  Why  not  ?    It  is  true,"  I  replied. 


"Yes,"  he  said,  "it  is  perfectly  true;  but  you'd  better  save  your 
strength.  In  this  city,  not  only  the  foreigners,  who  are  not  citizens, 
vote;  but  the  dead  vote,  ,long  after  they  have  become  citizens  of 
Kingdom  Come." 

One  of  these  same  Poles  recently  took  me  through  the  Capitol 
of  Pennsylvania  at  Harrisburg.  With  great  pride  he  guided 
me  from  foundation  to  dome,  pointing  out  those  objects  of  inter- 
est which  every  stranger  must  see,  as  if  they  were  the  memorials 
of  noble  deeds  of  valour. 

They  consist  of  wood,  painted  to  imitate  marble,  chan- 
deliers of  base  metal,  to  be  sold  by  the  pound,  at  fabulous 
prices,  and  among  many  other  spurious  things,  a  safe,  sup- 
posed to  be  fireproof  and  burglar-proof,  but  which  was  not 
politician-proof,  for  an  ordinary  gimlet  bored  a  hole  into  its  cor- 
rupt heart. 

What  was  distressing  to  me  was  not  so  much  that  the  State 
paid  millions  for  this  veneered  and  varnished  fraud,  but  that 
my  Polish  guide  pronounced  the  word  graft  with  evident  relish 
and  without  fear  or  shame. 

I  do  not  doubt  that  the  presence  of  the  new  immigrant  is  "a 
great  strain  upon  our  political  institutions";  but  not  greater 
than  the  old  immigrant  was,  and  still  is.  This  certainly  is  true 
of  Pennsylvania ;  for  there  are  counties  in  that  state,  into  whose 
wilds  the  new  immigrant  has  not  yet  penetrated,  and  where 
those  who  have  been  living  off  its  fat  acres  since  their  birth  — 
the  sons  of  immigrants  who  came  two  hundred  years  ago  — 
hold  their  right  of  franchise  cheap.  I  am  told  that  in  these  coun- 
ties nearly  every  vote  can  be  bought  for  five  dollars. 

This  may  be  idle  rumor ;  but  the  fact  remains  and  can  be 
proved  by  any  one  who  chooses  to  investigate,  that  Scranton, 
Wilkes-Barre,  Connellsville  and  a  hundred  other  cities  and  towns, 
are  better  governed  now  than  they  were  before  Slav,  Latin,  and 
Jew  came  to  live  in  their  Patches  and  Ghettos.  This  is  true  in 
spite  of  our  having  tried  to  corrupt  these  new  citizens  from  the 
very  hour  when  they  received  their  political  rights,  and  that, 
when  they  had  no  rights,  we  treated  them  with  neglect  and 

The  mayor  of  Greensburg,  Pennsylvania,  a  man  of  the  newer 
and  better  type  of  administrators,  whose  territory  is  completely 


environed  by  the  coke  regions  and  has  an  almost  totally  foreign 
population  —  says : 

They  make  reliable  citizens.  They  can  be  trusted  absolutely. 
Their  worst  enemy  is  drink ;  but  when  a  foreigner  comes  before  me 
and  is  fined,  if  he  has  no  money  and  I  let  him  go  home,  he  will  come 
the  next  day  to  pay  his  fine  even  if  he  lives  ten  miles  from  town.  Yet 
in  spite  of  the  fact  that  the  "Hunkey"  and  the  "Dago"  have  helped 
build  up  Greensburg  and  have  enriched  its  citizens,  they  are  still 
held  in  contempt  by  the  majority  of  its  people. 

This  same  official  told  me  that  a  few  years  ago  when  the 
Italians  celebrated  their  Independence  Day,  the  High  School 
boys  of  that  city  threw  decayed  vegetables  at  them  and  their 
national  flag. 

Without  the  slightest  reserve  I  can  say  this :  Wherever  an 
enlightened  official,  like  this  mayor,  or  teachers  of  the  public 
schools,  ministers  of  the  Gospel  and  business  men,  have  come  in 
real  contact  with  the  new  immigrant,  their  verdict  was  entirely 
different  from  that  of  Mr.  Edwards  and  many  of  the  professional 
writers  upon  the  problem  which  the  foreigner  represents. 

There  are  some  places  in  the  United  States  where  I  have  found 
the  immigrant  a  menace,  and  one  of  them  is  in  Pittston,  Pennsyl- 
vania. There  the  Italian  is  really  bad ;  there  he  is  an  Anarchist 
and  a  murderer.  But  in  Pittston  I  discovered  the  really  bad 
American,  an  Anarchist  and  a  murderer;  although  he  may  be 
the  owner  of  some  of  the  mines  or  a  high  official  in  the  town.  In 
that  city,  every  law  which  governs  mining  has  been  openly 
violated,  and  there  is  at  least  one  mine  in  the  place  which  is 
nothing  but  a  deep  hell-hole  and  is  known  as  such  by  the  men 
compelled  to  work  in  it.  It  is  a  mine  in  which  anything  may  be 
had  for  a  bribe  and  anything  may  be  done  without  fear  of  punish- 
ment. In  one  of  the  last  communal  elections,  the  candidate  for 
its  highest  office  kept  open  house,  with  beer  and  " booze"  in  one 
of  the  miners'  shacks ;  young  boys,  not  out  of  their  teens,  were 
allowed  to  drink  to  intoxication,  and  the  candidate  already 
mentioned  was  not  an  Italian  or  a  Slav  or  a  Jew ;  but  an  Ameri- 
can, unto  the  tenth  generation,  and  a  member  of  a  Protestant 

I  do  not  rejoice  in  writing  this  or  in  telling  it  as  I  have  had  to 


tell  it  in  the  towns  affected,  and  to  the  very  men  who  have  thus 

It  is  painful  to  me,  because,  after  all,  I  do  not  feel  myself  so 
closely  identified  with  the  immigrant  as  with  the  American. 
While  my  sympathies  are  with  the  immigrant,  they  are  much 
more  with  this,  my  country,  and  with  that  circle  of  the  native 
born,  whose  ideals,  whose  hopes,  and  whose  aspirations  have 
become  mine. 

I  am  not  greatly  concerned  with  immigration,  per  se;  that  is 
a  subject  for  the  economist,  which  I  am  not.  It  is  for  him,  if 
he  is  skilled  enough,  to  know  whether  we  can  afford  to  keep  our 
gates  open  to  the  millions  who  come,  or  when  and  to  whom  to 
close  them. 

Narrowly,  or  perhaps  selfishly,  I  am  concerned  for  those  who 
are  here ;  that  they  be  treated  justly,  with  due  appreciation  of 
their  worth,  and  that  they  may  see  that  best  in  the  American 
which  has  bound  me  to  him,  to  his  land  and  to  its  history ;  to 
its  best  men  living,  and  to  those  of  its  dead  who  left  a  great  leg- 
acy, too  great  to  be  squandered  by  a  prodigal  generation. 

Knowing  how  great  this  legacy  is,  and  yet  may  be  for  the 
blessing  of  mankind,  I  am  pleading  for  this  new  immigrant.  If 
we  care  at  all  for  that  struggling,  striving  mass  of  men,  un- 
blessed as  yet  by  those  gifts  of  Heaven  which  have  blessed  us, 
let  us  prove  to  these  people  of  all  kindreds  and  races  and  nations, 
that  our  God  is  the  Lord,  that  His  law  is  our  law  and  that  all 
men  are  our  brothers. 



SEVEN  cities  were  included  by  the  Federal  Immigration 
Commission  in  its  study  of  conditions :  New  York,  which 
with  its  hundreds  of  thousands  of  tenement  houses  and  with  an 
equal  number  of  pages  describing  their  evils  is  preeminently 
the  congested  city ;  Chicago,  which  in  lifting  itself  out  of  a  swamp 
left  behind  many  a  basement  where  the  poor  seek  shelter,  and 
many  a  yard  which  is  dry  only  in  the  hottest  season ;  Philadel- 
phia, with  its  network  of  narrow  alleys  with  surface  drainage,  its 
three-room  houses  with  insufficient  water  supply  and  sanitary 
equipment,  in  a  word,  with  its  " horizontal  tenement  houses"; 
Boston,  where  " Americans  in  process"  succeed  each  other  in  the 
restricted  area  of  the  North  and  the  West  Ends,  and  where  the 
one-family  dwelling,  converted  for  the  use  of  several  households, 
emphasizes  the  rapid  change  of  conditions;  Cleveland,  which 
awoke  to  find  itself  one  of  the  leading  cities  in  America  and  has 
not  had  time  to  think  of  the  necessity  of  protecting  itself  from 
the  slum ;  Buffalo,  with  its  enormous  colony  of  Poles  who  have 
come  from. farms  in  Europe  and  have  to  learn  the  solution  of  the 
problem  of  existence  in  a  city ;  and  Milwaukee,  the  most  foreign 
city  of  them  all,  where  there  is  no  limit  of  space,  and  where  in 
spite  of  that,  economic  pressure  frequently  results  in  crowding 
of  houses  on  a  lot  and  of  persons  in  a  house. 

It  was  felt  that  an  inquiry  covering  representative  districts 
in  these  seven  cities  could  safely  be  accepted  as  indicative 
of  what  may  be  found  elsewhere  in  the  United  States,  in  the 
poorest  environment  and  most  congested  quarters.  This  also 
would  afford  a  much  broader  basis  for  judgment  than  the  study 
of  a  single  locality.  For  many  reasons  the  problem  of  the 

1  From  The  Survey,  January  i,  1911. 


immigrant  in  large  cities  has  for  almost  a  generation  attracted  a 
great  deal  of  attention.  The  vast  majority  of  immigrants  land  in 
two  or  three  seaports,  and  large  numbers  remain  there,  for  a  time 
at  least.  The  phenomenal  growth  of  cities  and  the  difficulties 
accompanying  their  growth  have  been  intensified  by  the  influx 
of  millions  of  aliens,  who  for  the  most  part  are  unacquainted  with 
urban  conditions  in  their  own  countries,  and  are  dazed  by  the 
complexity  of  existence  in  the  great  American  cities.  And  it 
must  be  remembered  that  writers,  like  immigrants,  congregate 
in  large  cities,  and  their  proximity  to  the  foreign  colonies  has  had 
its  natural  result.  The  social  reformer  who  wishes  to  remedy 
preventable  evils,  as  well  as  the  journalist  who  is  anxious  to 
present  readable  material,  has  consistently  dwelt  on  the  crowding 
and  filth,  the  poverty  and  destitution,  of  which  there  are  such 
extreme  instances  in  the  poorer  quarters  of  every  city.  Public 
opinion  has  been  aroused,  and  legislation  enacted  which  has 
tended  to  minimize  the  evils  of  overcrowding  in  many  of  the 
older  cities,  and  to  inform  the  younger  cities  of  the  dangers  of 
unregulated  growth.  But  the  result  also  has  been  to  create  in  the 
popular  imagination  an  impression  that  the  extreme  instances 
cited  are  the  whole  story,  and  that  the  congested  quarters  of  large 
cities,  full  of  filth,  squalor,  and  depraved  humanity,  are  a  menace 
to  the  nation's  health  and  morals.  Moreover,  the  responsibility 
for  these  conditions  is  almost  universally  placed  by  old  residents 
on  the  immigrant,  and  primarily  on  the  recent  immigrant,  from 
the  South  and  East  of  Europe.  The  Italian,  the  Hebrew,  and 
the  Slav,  according  to  popular  belief,  are  poisoning  the  pure  air 
of  our  otherwise  well-regulated  cities ;  and  if  it  were  not  for  them 
there  would  be  no  congestion,  no  filth,  and  no  poverty  in  the 
great  industrial  and  commercial  centers  of  America. 

Once  the  cities  were  selected,  the  problem  was  to  choose  the 
districts.  The  method  of  study  agreed  upon  was  to  canvass  a 
certain  number  of  blocks,  representing  the  most  important  races 
in  each  city  and  the  worst  representative  conditions.  After  the 
blocks  had  been  selected  every  household  living  there  was  visited, 
and  schedules  were  secured  from  them.  In  this  way  the  study  was 
not  confined  to  individual  cases  showing  extremes  of  poverty  or 
of  prosperity,  but  included  every  family  that  resided  within  the 
chosen  quarter.  In  most  cases  the  blocks  studied  were  uniformly 


populated  by  one  race.  It  was  no  easy  problem  to  find  blocks 
of  that  description.  The  population  of  the  districts  in  many 
instances  changes  so  rapidly,  that  the  race  which  predominates 
in  one  of  them  to-day  may  constitute  but  a  small  minority  to- 
morrow. City  officials  and  settlement  workers  were  helpful  in 
locating  foreign  colonies,  but  in  addition  we  interviewed  physi- 
cians, district  nurses,  grocers,  letter-carriers,  priests,  and  saloon- 
keepers. It  was  especially  difficult  to  find  solid  blocks  of  Irish 
and  of  Germans,  and  it  is  only  fair  to  add  that  the  households  of 
these  older  races  often  represent  the  failures  which  were  left 
behind  when  their  more  successful  countrymen  moved  to  better 
.neighborhoods.  For  the  sake  of  comparison,  it  was  felt  that  some 
American  households  ought  to  be  included ;  but  that  was  a  still 
harder  proposition.  What  was  meant  by  Americans  were  house- 
holds whose  heads  were  natives  of  native  fathers .  Few  such  house- 
holds were  found  in  crowded  districts,  and  never  did  they  form 
the  majority  of  the  population  of  a  block.  They  were  studied 
whenever  found  within  the  specified  areas  inhabited  by  working 
people.  In  Boston,  to  secure  one  hundred  family  schedules  from 
such  native  stock,  about  700  homes  were  visited.  It  is  worthy  of 
note  that  the  search  for  Americans  in  the  poorer  quarters  of 
American  cities  was  an  arduous  task. 

To  secure  the  desired  information  from  every  family  visited 
was  not  always  an  easy  undertaking.  The  recent  immigrants, 
who  are  more  accustomed  to  a  paternalistic  government  and 
have  not  learned  the  hall-marks  of  American  liberty,  were  the 
easiest  to  interview.  Some  of  the  old  residents,  who  have  learned 
to  look  upon  themselves  as  the  sovereign  people  and  consider 
the  government  as  their  agent,  were  unwilling  to  answer  the 
questions.  I  shall  never  forget  my  own  experience  with  an  Irish 
woman,  twice  my  size,  but  as  it  turned  out  with  a  bad  memory 
for  faces,  who  not  only  refused  to  answer  my  timid  questions, 
but  took  the  trouble  to  escort  me  downstairs  and  to  threaten 
violence  should  I  come  " nosing  around"  again.  This  was  at 
the  very  outset  of  the  work.  A  month  or  two  later,  fortified  by 
accumulated  experience,  I  returned  to  the  same  house  and 
obtained  schedules  from  all  the  tenants,  including  my  formidable 
antagonist,  who  this  time  was  quite  accommodating  and  confided 
that  she  knew  the  difference  between  a  real  government  agent 


and  a  fraud.  As  proof,  she  told  of  the  treatment  she  had  recently 
accorded  to  a  "mutt"  who  wished  to  impose  upon  her.  One  of 
the  women  agents  had  an  exciting  time  in  a  "Krainer"  household 
in  Cleveland.  The  owner  of  the  house,  a  man  of  consequence  in 
the  community,  refused  point  blank  to  answer  any  questions, 
grabbed  the  agent  by  the  arm  and  put  her  out.  The  agent  re- 
ferred the  matter  to  the  United  States  marshal  who  accompanied 
her  on  her  next  visit.  The  "Krainer"  was  impressed,  helped 
fill  out  the  schedule,  and  ended  by  a  proposal  of  marriage  which 
was  taken  as  a  great  compliment  by  the  canvasser.  Another 
schedule  worker  was  one  time  surrounded  by  a  crowd  of  irate 
Italians,  who  would  not  let  her  leave  the  premises  until  she  had 
destroyed  the  records  which  she  had  taken  great  pains  to  obtain. 
Incidents  of  this  nature  w.ere  not  unusual,  but  every  agent  who 
worked  in  this  investigation  will  agree  with  me,  that  the  pro- 
portion of  "difficult"  families  was  'surprisingly  small,  when 
the  large  number  of  questions  asked  and  the  personal  character 
of  some  of  them  are  taken  into  consideration,  and  that  the  in- 
vestigators owe  a  great  deal  to  the  willingness  and  courtesy  of 
most  of  the  families  canvassed. 

The  inquiry  covered  over  10,200  households  and  over  51,000 
individuals.  The  largest  number  of  households,  2667,  was 
studied  in  New  York,  and  the  smallest,  687,  in  Buffalo.  It  is 
apparent  that  this  total  represents  only  a  small  proportion  of  all 
families  living  amid  congested  conditions  in  the  United  States. 
Yet  those  studied  were  representative  of  many  times  as  many 
households  living  under  substantially  similar  conditions  in  the 
seven  cities  chosen.  It  seems  fair,  therefore,  to  say  that  what  the 
study  reveals  are  the  worst  living  conditions  existing  on  a  large 
scale  in  any  of  the  large  cities  of  America. 

What  then  are  some  of  the  vital  facts  disclosed  by  the  in- 
vestigation? First  of  all,  it  reaffirms  that  crowded  districts  are 
largely  populated  by  immigrants,  and  more  particularly  by 
recent  immigrants.  In  the  eastern  cities,  New  York,  Philadel- 
phia, and  Boston,  the  Russian  Hebrews  and  the  south  Italians 
are  the  largest  elements  in  congested  foreign  colonies.  In  the 
cities  on  the  Great  Lakes,  Buffalo,  Cleveland,  Chicago,  and  Mil- 
waukee, the  various  Slavic  races,  the  Poles,  Slovaks,  and  Slove- 
nians, are  found  in  large  numbers.  About  two  thirds  of  the 


foreign-born  in  the  selected  districts  have  been  in  this  country 
less  than  ten  years,  and  one<  fifth  has  immigrated  within  the 
past  five  years. 

A  noteworthy  fact  in  this  connection  is  that  about  one  family 
out  of  every  ten  visited  owns  its  home.  Of  course,  this  does  not 
mean  that  the  families  have  clear  titles  to  the  property ;  but  it 
is  indicative  of  thrift  and  of  the  intention  on  the  part  of  the 
immigrants  to  settle  permanently  in  this  country.  The  propor- 
tion varies  greatly  from  city  to  city;  in  Milwaukee,  it  is  one  in. 
five ;  in  Buffalo,  one  in  six ;  in  Chicago  and  in  Cleveland,  about 
one  in  seven ;  in  Philadelphia,  one  in  fourteen ;  in  Boston,  one 
in  twenty,  and  in  New  York,  one  in  two  hundred. 

In  connection  with  the  prevailing  opinion  about  the  filth, 
which  is  supposed  to  be  the  natural  element  of  the  immigrant,  it 
is  an  interesting  fact  that,  while  perhaps  five  sixths  of  the  blocks 
studied  justified  this  belief,  so  far  as  the  appearance  of  the  street 
went,  five  sixths  of  the  interiors  of  the  homes  were  found  to  be 
fairly  clean,  and  two  out  of  every  five  were  immaculate.  When 
this  is  considered  in  connection  with  the  frequently  inadequate 
water  supply,  the  dark  halls,  and  the  large  number  of  families 
living  in  close  proximity,  the  responsibility  for  uncleanliness  and 
insanitary  conditions  is  largely  shifted  from  the  immigrants  to 
the  landlords,  and  to  the  municipal  authorities  who  spare  no 
expense  in  sprinkling  oil  to  save  the  wealthy  automobilists  from 
the  dust,  but  are  very  economical  when  it  comes  to  keeping  the 
poorer  streets  in  a  habitable  condition.  The  water  supply,  the 
drainage,  and  the  condition  of  the  pavement  are  also  outside  the 
jurisdiction  of  the  tenants ;  and  yet  their  neglect  results  in-  bad 
conditions  for  which  the  resident  of  the  crowded  districts  is 

Congestion  itself  is  a  relative  term,  and  hard  to  measure 
statistically  without  going  into  more  details  than  any  extensive 
investigation  can  afford  to  do.  And  yet  it  does  seem  like  some- 
thing of  an  anti-climax  to  the  cry  about  terrible  congestion, 
when  the  fact  is  stated  that  the  average  number  of  persons  per 
room  in  the  10,000  households  studied  by  the  commission  is 
1.34.  The  average  is  higher  in  Boston,  Philadelphia  and  Cleve- 
land than  in  New  York,  and  is  lowest  in  Milwaukee,  where  the 
figure  is  1.15.  Some  races  show  averages  far  higher  than  those 


for  all  the  households  studied,  and  yet  the  highest  figure  which 
is  found  among  the  Slovenians  does  not  exceed  1.72  persons  per 
room.  These  figures  are  significant,  because  they  indicate  that 
the  pictures  of  six  or  more  persons  per  room,  which  are  frequently 
given  to  the  public,  do  not  represent  general  conditions,  but  are 
exceptional.  It  is  also  interesting  that  New  York  shows  lower 
averages  than  Boston  and  Philadelphia.  This  suggests  that  after 
all,  when  a  certain  density  of  population  is  reached,  the  building 
of  tenement  houses  tends  to  increase  the  amount  of  floor  area 
per  acre  and  reduce  the  number  of  persons  per  square  yard  of 
floor  space,  and  presumably  per  room.  Not  that  congestion  per 
acre  is  devoid  of  evils,  such  as  traffic  congestion,  lack  of  breathing 
space  or  of  playgrounds  for  the  children ;  but  this  problem  is  part 
of  the  general  problem  of  the  growth  of  large  cities  and  is  not 
confined  to  foreign  quarters. 

Another  current  belief  is  that  all  of  the  foreigners  in  poorer 
sections  of  cities  keep  large  numbers  of  boarders  or  lodgers,  and 
sacrifice  comfort  and  decency  to  their  inordinate  desire  to  save 
money,  in  order  presumably  to  return  home  and  live  on  what  they 
have  earned  in  America.   I  shall  not  stop  to  consider  the  economic 
fallacy  involved  in  this  reasoning,  and  in  the  theory  that  these  ) 
savings  when  sent  abroad  are  a  loss  to  America;  I  shall  only  1 
point  out  that  the  study  of  immigrant  homes  has  shown  that/ 
only  about  one  out  of  every  four  keeps  boarders  or  lodgers  at/ 
all,  so  that  three  fourths  of  the  households  consist  of  what  may 
be  called  the  natural  family.   It  is  further  noteworthy  that  crowd- 
ing in  larger  apartments  is  never  as  great  as  in  smaller  apartments, 
which  suggests  that  the  immigrant  household  is  crowded  either 
because,  having  a  large  family,  the  head  cannot  afford  a  sufficient 
number  of  rooms ;    or  because,  having  taken  an  apartment  of 
standardized  size,  he  finds  himself  unable  to  pay  the  rent  and 
support  his  family  without  the  help  of  one  or  two  lodgers.   There 
is  no  evidence  of  boarders  or  lodgers  being  kept  as  a  business  nor 
of  a  sacrifice  of  comfort  or  decency  to  cupidity,  as  it  is  called  in 
the  immigrant,  or  even  to  thrift,  as  it  is  called  in  the  native.   > 
Crowding,  when  it  appears,  is  the  result  of  grim  economic  neces-  / 
sity,  and  as  a  rule  it  disappears  as  soon  as  the  pressure  relaxes.     I 

In  studying  foreign  colonies  in  cities,  one  is  constantly  reminded 
of  the  forces  which  create  them  and  keep  them  together.   Most 


immigrants  come  to  join  friends  or  relatives  and  thus  form  the 
nucleus  of  a  colony ;  the  first  few  families  attract  more,  and  in  a 
short  time  a  racial  island  is  created  in  the  city.  Once  the  colony 
is  established  there  are  many  reasons  for  its  continued  existence 
and  growth. 

It  is  expensive  to  move ;  it  is  sometimes  hard  to  find  a  position 
in  a  new  environment  or  to  pay  car  fare,  or  even  to  be  deprived 
of  the  possibility  of  coming  home  for  lunch.  Furthermore, 
friendly  relations,  kinship,  language,  religious  affiliations,  dietary 
laws  and  preferences,  and  the  greater  ease  of  securing  boarders  in 
districts  where  immigrants  of  the  same  race  are  centered,  tend 
to  keep  the  families  where  they  have  once  settled. 

But  when  the  immigrant  becomes  accustomed  to  American 
conditions,  when  he  has  gained  a  firm  economic  footing,  when  his 
children  have  gone  to  American  schools,  the  desire  for  better 
surroundings  overcomes  the  economic  and  racial  reasons  for 
remaining  in  congested  districts.  The  stream  of  emigration  from 
the  foreign  colonies  in  large  cities  is  continuous ;  some  move  up- 
town when  they  marry,  some  seek  new  places  to  establish  their 
own  business ;  others  look  for  cleaner  streets,  and  still  others 
follow  the  current  for  no  conscious  reason.  The  older  immigrants 
do  not  often  form  colonies  in  American  cities  any  longer,  and 
the  newer  arrivals  clearly  tend  to  follow  the  example  of  their 
predecessors  in  congested  districts,  gradually  scattering  over  the 
city  of  residence  and  often  leaving  that  city  altogether. 

In  conclusion,  I  wish  to  say  that  this  study  has  not  touched  the 
general  problem  of  the  distribution  of  immigrants  and  their 
concentration  in  cities.  What  it  has  done  is  to  show  that  the 
immigrants  in  cities  in  a  large  majority  of  cases  live  a  clean  and 
decent  life,  in  spite  of  all  the  difficulties  that  are  thrown  in  their 
way  by  economic  struggle  and  municipal  neglect.  The  study 
strongly  indicates  that  racial  characteristics  are  entirely  sub- 
ordinate to  environment  and  opportunity  in  determining  that 
part  of  the  immigrant's  mode  of  life  which  is  legitimately  a  matter 
of  public  concern ;  and  finally,  it  shows  that  foreign  colonies  in 
large  cities  are  not  stagnant,  but  are  constantly  changing  their 
composition,  the  more  successful  members  leaving  for  better 
surroundings,  until  finally  the  entire  colony  is  absorbed  in  the 
melting  pot  of  the  American  city.  The  population  of  congested 


quarters  constantly  changes,  but  the  quarters  themselves  remain 
congested  and  will  remain  so  as  long  as  new  immigrants  continue 
to  arrive  in  large  numbers.  It  is  vitally  important  for  the  city 
to  keep  her  crowded  quarters  clean  and  her  tenement  houses 
sanitary ;  but  it  is  just  as  important  that  the  public  understand 
that  congested  quarters  of  large  cities  are  temporary  receptacles 
of  newly  arrived  immigrants,  rather  than  stagnant  pools  of  filth, 
and  vice,  and  destitution. 



THE  consideration  of  the  subject  of  immigration  is  not  new. 
Ever  since  the  days  of  the  Athenian  Republic,  nations  have 
had  the  subject  to  deal  with  in  some  form. 

The  United  States  has  passed  through  several  stages  in  its 
attitude  on  the  subject.  In  early  colonial  days  immigration  was 
so  earnestly  desired  that  enforced  immigration  was  resorted  to 
and  unwilling  lawbreakers  were  deported  from  England  to  this 
country  and  shiploads  of  slaves  were  brought  from  Africa.  Let 
us  not  forget  that  one  of  the  most  conspicuous  problems  that  this 
country  has  to  face  in  regard  to  aliens  dates  from  this  latter 

One  of  the  charges  made  against  King  George  in  the  Declaration 
of  Independence  was  that  he  interfered  with  immigration,  and  yet 
as  early  as  1780,  Benjamin  Franklin  declared  that  unless  the 
immigration  from  the  continent  is  stopped  the  English  language 
will  cease  to  be  the  language  of  the  country.  Also  in  spite  of  the 
fact  that  William  Penn  showed  himself  to  be  an  able  forerunner 
of  the  present  day  immigration  agent  in  the  manner  in  which 
he  advertised  the  advantages  of  Pennsylvania,  we  find  that  at 
that  early  day  others  were  deploring  the  fact  that  those  who  were 
coming  were  very  inferior  to  those  who  had  come  with  the  first 
ships.  It  is  remarkable  what  virtues  priority  seems  to  give  in  the 
eyes  of  many ! 

After  the  country  became  fairly  well  populated  there  was  a 
period  of  indifference  to  the  subject  and  it  was  only  in  1882  that 
any  effort  towards  regulating  immigration  was  undertaken  by 
the  government. 

1  Printed  by  The  American  Sociological  Society  and  The  Committee  of  One 
Hundred,  Federal  Council  of  Churches  in  America,  August,  1915. 



At  the  present  time  I  might  characterize  the  attitude  of  most 
of  our  citizens  as  one  of  questionings  if  not  of  hostility,  toward 
unrestricted  immigration. 

In  spite  of  the  attention  which  has  been  directed  to  the  subject 
in  the  past  ten  years  when  we  have  been  receiving  annually  over 
one  million  aliens,  most  legislation  has  been  abortive  and  un- 
related to  the  crux  of  the  matter.  The  cause  of  this  confusion  in 
legislative  enactment  is  due  largely  to  the  fact  that  none  of 
the  political  parties  and  no  candidates  for  election  have  had  the 
courage  to  define  their  position  upon  this  subject  for  fear  of  losing 
the  naturalized  vote.  To  my  mind  the  hyphenated  American 
citizen  is  as  much  interested  in  a  sane  and  intelligent  solution 
of  this  question  as  the  native-born.  He  has  sought  this  country 
for  larger  social  or  economic  opportunities  and  frequently  has  a 
greater  appreciation  of  American  institutions  than  those  born 
under  the  Stars  and  Stripes.  A  pertinent  question  for  every 
native  son  of  the  United  States  to  ask  himself,  especially  those 
of  colonial  descent,  whose  fathers'  blood  made  possible  this 
government  and  who  with  bloodless  effort  availed  themselves 
of  the  treasures  that  nature  had  stored  up  in  geological  periods, 
is :  If  I  had  not  been  born  to  this  heritage  of  freedom  would 
I  have  had  the  courage  to  claim  it?  Upon  his  ability  to 
answer  this  subject  in  the  affirmative  rests  their  position  as 
the  leaders  of  the  future  destinies  of  this  republic ;  if  answered 
in  the  negative,  no  adventitious  circumstances,  no  pride  of  birth, 
no  unjust  laws  can  build  a  fortress  around  them  sufficient 
to  protect  them  for  long  against  the  onward  and  irresistible 
march  of  progress.  I  never  see  an  alien  woman  in  the  street, 
in  her  peasant  costume,  with  the  look  of  anxiety  and  often  fear 
on  her  face,  that  I  do  not  mentally  make  obeisance  to  her, 
for  I  question  if  I  would  have  the  bravery  to  do  what  she 
has  done. 

What  she  has  done,  it  did  not  matter  how  circumstance 
pressed.  And  so  we  pay,  one  way  or  another,  for  all  that  we  have, 
it  does  not  matter  in  what  form  it  comes.  Now  that  Nature  has 
been  tanied,  the  only  way  that  we  can  hope  to  keep  alive  the 
splendid  pioneer  spirit  of  our  ancestors  is  to  stand  on  the 
frontiers  of  moral  reform  and  to  be  the  adventurous  bowman  for 
civil  economic  and  religious  liberty. 



Easy  living,  easy  dying  is  as  true  of  the  national  as  of  the 
physical  body. 

While  there  is  nothing  startlingly  new  in  the  general  subject  of 
immigration  the  problem  of  the  unattached  alien  woman  is  new 
in  its  present  form. 

.We  who  traceour^  ancestry  back  to  the  colonial  days,  rather 
resent  having  our  attention  callecTto  the  fact  that  large  numbers 
of  women  who  were  deported  from  Great  Britain  to  the  colonies 
and  whose  progeny  were  doubtless  absorbed  into  some  of  the 
first  families  for  eligible  females  were  rather  scarce  in  those  days. 
A  picture  of  what  the  inhumanity  of  man  caused  some  of  those 
first  alien  women  to  suffer  has  come  down  to  us  in  that  wonderful 
classic  "Manon  Lescaut."  If  you  want  to  know  what  our  civiliza- 
tion has  cost  alien  women,  read  some  of  the  official  manuscripts 
preserved  in  the  Library  at  Paris,  of  the  settlement  of  Louisiana. 
A  young  friend  of  mine  went  to  Paris  to  prepare  a  thesis  upon 
the  settlement  of  Alabama,  and  she  told  me  the  horrors  that  were 
revealed  to  her  in  those  musty  documents  were  unbelievable. 

Let  us  not  forget  that  much  of  the  civilization  of  America  was 
built  upon  the  sufferings  of  alien  women  and  that  the  ties 
which  bound  together  the  thirteen  colonies  were  cemented  with 
their  blood. 

But  it  is  with  the  alien  woman  of  to-day  that  I  have  to  deal. 

The  movement  of  unattached  women  of  every  nationality  is 
a  significant  feature  of  the  day.  It  is  an  unmistakable  sign  of 
her  unrest  and  dissatisfaction  of  the  old  order.  Even  our  own 
daughters  prefer  occupation  far  from  their  home  in  the  majority 
of  cases.  This  practice  on  the  part  of  American  women  has 
affected  European  women.  \  Formerly  men  of  the  family  came 
first.  Now  it  is  not  at  all  unusual  to  find  women  coming  first  and 
sending  back  for  the  men  of  the  family.  Many  have  said  to  me 
that  American  women  do  not  have  to  have  a  home.  Why  should 
they?  A  boarding  house  answers  every  purpose. 

In  considering  the  alien  woman  it  is  safe  to  say  that  if  you 
multiply  the  injustices  which  alien  men  are  subjected  to  it  will 
not  exaggerate  her  plight.  All  that  he  suffers  she  suffers  also 
and  added  to  it  the  burden  incident  to  her  sex. 

If  the  injustice  is  economic  and  he  is  a  married  man,  the  woman 
must  stretch  the  family  purse  to  meet  the  demands  of  the  family, 


and  if  any  member  must  go  without,  it  is  always  the  mother.  Is  it 
any  wonder  that  foreign  children  are  so  often  ashamed  of  their 
mothers  because  they  are  so  different  from  other  children's 
mothers  and  because  of  this  drift  away  from  her  wholesome 
influence  ?  If  we  believe  that  in  a  well-ordered  American  home, 
the  mother  should  be  the  center,  is  it  not  time  we  took  some  for- 
ward step  which  will  lead  to  some  permanent  constructive  meas- 
ures that  will  dignify  the  alien  mother  who  is  often  an  uncrowned 
heroine  ?  Something  has  been  done  at  Hull  House  by  establishing 
a  museum  of  hand  industries,  but  every  locality  should  perfect 
some  machinery  where  the  alien  mother  might  have  just  rec- 
ognition without  having  to  wait  to  get  to  heaven  to  receive  it. 

The  economic  injustice  to  which  the  self-supporting  alien 
woman  is  subjected  is  well  known.  Usually  unskilled  and  in- 
capable of  initiative,  there  are  practically  no  labor  unions  which 
are  open  to  her  and  she  has  practically  no  redress  from  greedy 
employers.  Frequently  I  have  had  in  my  charge,  in  New  York, 
girls  who  had  been  employed  in  a  private  family  for  several 
months  and  then  have  been  taken  out  on  the  street  and  left,  in 
order  that  they  might  not  be  forced  to  pay  them  their  earnings. 
Sometimes  it  has  taken  weeks  to  find  where  the  parties  lived,  for 
as  strange  as  it  may  seem,  these  girls  often  stay  for  months  in  a 
house  and  never  learn  the  name  of  the  street.  The  number  of 
girls  thus  cheated  must  be  enormous  for  their  fear  of  the  invisible 
government  often  makes  them  afraid  to  make  complaints,  and  it 
is  only  the  few  cases  that  fall  into  the  hands  of  some  philanthropic 
organization  that  are  ever  heard  of. 

Social  injustice  -is  the  alien  woman's  reward  at  every  turn. 
Even  the  legislation  which  is  passed  to  protect  her  often  becomes 
a  boomerang.  The  deportation  acts  of  the  Federal  Department 
of  Immigration  cover  the  punishment  of  those  who  contribute 
to  her  delinquency  as  much  as  they  punish  her.  In  spite  of  this 
fact  and  although  the  sympathy  of  the  heads  of  the  department 
has  always  been  with  the  friendless  woman,  minor  officials  have 
seen  in  this  law  an  opportunity  to  magnify  their  importance  and 
to  swell  the  amount  of  work  they  have  accomplished,  have  been 
indefatigable  in  arresting  women,  but  strange  to  say  are  very 
unsuccessful  in  finding  the  guilty  male  partner.  A  well-merited 
rebuke  was  administered  by  a  federal  judge  in  San  Francisco 


lately  when  he  declined  to  hold  the  woman  until  her  partner 
in  crime  was  also  arrested. 

Nothing  is  more  in  keeping  with  the  wishes  of  man  when  he 
has  gotten  a  woman  in  trouble  than  to  have  her  deported  and  thus 
put  the  ocean  between  them,  thus  ridding  him  of  his  incumbrance. 
But  I  am  glad  to  say  that  the  recent  order  of  the  secretary  of 
labor  and  Commissioner-General  Camineti,  placing  all  women 
held  for  deportation  in  the  hands  of  a  woman  officer  and  in  the 
custody  of  some  private  society,  preferably  of  her  own  nationality 
and  religion,  assures  every  woman  of  having  friends  who  will  see 
that  justice  is  done  her. 

The  difficulty  of  alien  women_  get  ting  in  touch  with  the  best 
class  of  her  countrymen  is  another  source  of  social  injustice 
and  often  sheer  loneliness  and  the  desire  to  talk  to  someone  who 
speaks  her  own  language  will  cause  her  to  seek  companionship 
among  those,  who,  if  other  avenues  were  open  to  her,  would  not 
attract  her.  In  every  city  there  are  groups  of  those  of  the  same 
nationality,  segregated  into  clubs,  with  different  objects,  all 
giving  opportunities  for  social  companionship  and  development, 
but  these  organizations  are  all  for  men.  I  know  of  none  such  for 
women.  True,  there  are  national  organizations  for  women  but 
they  are  invariably  exclusive  and  the  woman  who  needs  them  most 
is  not  eligible  for  membership.  If  they  are  not  exclusive  the  best 
women  of  that  race  don't  go  to  tnem.  But  it  does  not  matter  how 
democratic  a  man's  club  may  be  you  will  find  the  leading  citizens 
of  that  nationality  in  the  city  belonging  to  them. 

The  importance  of  reaching  the  alien  woman  is  paramount  if 
we  are  going  to  Americanize  our  foreign  population.  She  is  the 
crux  of  the  whole  subject.  It  is  she  who  selects  the  neighborhood 
and  the  house  in  which  the  family  live  and  the  church  which  they 
attend.  She  has  the  opportunity  to  supplement  the  lessons  at 
school  and  her  attitude  towards  the  problems  of  daily  life  un- 
consciously are  reflected  in  the  other  members  of  the  family.  In 
the  states  in  which  women  have  the  ballot  she  will  be  sought  for  by 
the  ward  politician  and  her  ideals  of  the  ballot  will  reflect  the 
attitude  of  her  teacher. 

As  some  practical  suggestions  as  to  the  means,  I  would  rec- 
ommend that  every  state  pass  a  law  similar  to  the  California 
law  whereby  teachers  may  be  sent  into  the  home  to  instruct  the 


mothers.  That  efforts  be  put  forth  by  the  men's  clubs  to  form 
national  centers  to  which  the  mothers  may  be  gathered  and  where 
they  will  be  addressed  in  their  own  language.  That  our  national 
holidays  be  set  aside  especially  for  the  education  in  American 
ideals.  That  special  occasions  of  joy  be  participated  in  on  the 
national  holidays  of  that  nationality.  That  we  educate  ourselves 
in  the  contributions  that  each  nation  has  made  to  our  literature 
and  that  we  voice  our  appreciation  of  these  contributions. 
That  we  see  to  it  that  the  municipality  is  not  lax  in  enforcing  the 
health  laws  in  the  foreign  community  and  that  if  any  part  of 
the  municipality  must  suffer  at  the  hands  of  the  street  cleaning 
department  it  shall  be  other  than  the  foreign  district  where 
frequently  the  streets  and  alleys  are  often  the  only  playgrounds 
or  parks.  Neighbor liness  on  the  part  of  the  women  of  the  com- 
munity who  have  a  recognized  standing  will  do  more  to  wipe  out 
the  injustices  than  any  other  one  thing.  When  the  exploiters 
find  they  have  the  club  women  of  the  community  to  deal  with 
they  will  be  more  careful  or  at  least  more  guarded  in  their 
approach.  That  the  inferior  courts,  particularly  the  police  courts, 
be  dignified  and  organized  upon  a  basis  that  will  command  for  them 
the  same  respect  as  the  superior  courts,  for  it  is  in  the  police 
courts  that  the  alien  usually  gets  his  introduction  to  the  legal 
machinery  of  this  country  and  his  first  impressions  are  the  most 

That  in  each  locality  the  district  attorney's  office  set  aside  a 
particular  time,  putting  in  charge  one  of  his  most  efficient  assist- 
ants with  a  good  interpreter,  to  hear  the  complaints  of  alien 
women.  That  where  there  are  juvenile  courts,  special  probation 
officers  are  detailed  to  get  in  touch  with  the  foreign  districts  and 
enlighten  the  mothers  upon  the  scope  and  value  of  the  juvenile 
court,  in  order  that  when  necessary  she  can  use  the  court  un- 
officially. In  this  way  the  arrest  of  many  children  would  be  pre- 
vented and  the  court  would  assist  in  upholding  parental  authority. 

Many  things  which  make  for  national  deterioration  are  laid 
at  the  door  of  the  alien  which  do  not  rightly  belong  there.   I 
was  interested  to  note  at  a  recent  disgusting  performance  I  "\ 
attended   there   was   not   apparently   a   foreigner   there.     The    \ 
audience  was  composed  of  well-dressed  American  boys  and  girls.     1 
I  could  not  help  but  think  that  if  such  a  performance  had  been  ^ 


given  by  foreign  element  the  whole  city  would  have  rung  with 
theory  that  our  American  institutions,  our  American  Sunday,  were 
being  murdered  by  foreign  influence. 

The  above  suggestions  are  based  upon  the  belief  that  it  does  not 
matter  how  much  we  may  disagree  upon  the  policy  of  immigration, 
that  we  are  all  agreed  that  after  the  alien  has  been  admitted  into 
this  country  he  is  entitled  not  only  to  be  given  his  just  right  but 
also  to  have  the  best  opportunity  to  become  a  good  citizen. 




^"PEAKING  in  broad  general  terms,  this  country  has  expe- 
O  rienced  the  inflow  of  three  great  sections  of  the  human  races 
—  European,  African,  and  Asiatic.  In  the  one  we  have  a  case  of 
voluntary  immigration,  and  in  the  second  a  case  of  forced  immi- 
gration, and  in  the  third  a  case  of  exclusion. 

As  the  result  of  the  forced  immigration  we  have  in  the  negro 
an  element  containing  n.6  per  cent  of  our  total  population,  or 
more  than  one  in  ten,  that  for  some  reason  or  group  of  reasons  — 
whether  historical  accident  or  inferior  ability  or  the  ban  of  race 
prejudice  —  has  failed  to  be  assimilated  and  now  forms  a  most 
serious  problem  in  a  democracy.  We  are  far  from  the  day  when 
arguments  of  either  industrial  development  or  mistaken  self- 
sacrifice  would  tempt  us  to  repeat  this  particular  experience. 

In  the  case  of  the  excluded  element,  the  Chinese,  we  have 
a  race  with  many  estimable  qualities,  a  race  furnishing  excellent 
material  for  self-sacrificing  effort  upon  our  part,  a  race  anxious 
to  aid  our  industrial  development  by  coming  in  what  would  have 
been  perhaps  the  largest  tides  of  immigration  we  have  ever  ex- 
perienced. Nevertheless  they  are  a  people  that  for  racial,  social, 
political,  and  economic  reasons 'we  have  decided  to  exclude. 

Between  these  two  extremes,  —  a  race  forced  to  immigrate 
and  one  forbidden  to  immigrate,  stand,  or  rather  come,  the  Eu- 
ropean races.  Our  prime  concern  is  with  them.  With  no  other 
defense  for  my  classification  than  that  it  serves  well  for  discussion 
purposes  and  cannot  be  charged  with  inaccuracy  or  misrepresen- 
tation,— when  its  difficulties  have  been  frankly  acknowledged, 
—  and  with  the  further  defense  that  this  classification  is  coming 

1  Reprinted  from  the  Proceedings  of  the  National  Conference  of  Charities  and 
Correction,  1906. 


23  2  EFFECTS 

to  be  accepted  by  many  of  the  best  scholars,!  shall  speak  of  three 
races  of  Europe,  the  Baltic,  the  Alpine,  and  the  Mediterranean. 

The  Baltic  race  occupies  the  British  Isles,  Scandinavia,  the 
southern  and  eastern  shores  of  the  Baltic  in  Russia,  the  northern 
half  of  the  German  Empire,  northeastern  Holland,  northern  Bel- 
guim,  and  northeastern  France.  In  short,  as  the  name  indicates, 
this  race  is  concentrated  around  the  Baltic  sea  and  includes  the 
peoples  of  northwestern  Europe. 

The  Alpine  race  dwells  in  Switzerland,  northern  Italy,  cen- 
tral France,  southern  Germany,  and  the  greater  part  of  6-ussia 
and  of  the  Balkan  Peninsula.  In  short,  it  occupies  the  great 
highland  region  of  central  Europe. 

The  Mediterranean  race  has  as  its  habitat  Spain,  Portugal, 
the  islands  of  the  Mediterranean  west  of  Italy,  a  strip  of  the 
southern  shore  of  France,  and  southern  Italy.  In  a  badly  mixed 
state  it  is  to  be  found  in  Greece,  and,  mixed  with  Arab  and  Ne- 
groid strains,  it  is  to  be  found  in  Africa  north  of  the  Sahara  and 
west  of  Tunis.  In  brief,  this  race  is  concentrated  in  the  sub- 
tropical region  around  the  Mediterranean. 
*~  It  is  evident  that  in  dealing  with  the  effects  of  the  immigra- 
tion of  these  races  we  shall  have  to  consider  three  matters : 

1.  The  composition  and  quality  of  the  population  of  this 
country  before  the  great  tides  of  immigration  began. 

2.  The  volume  and  character  of. the  immigration. 

3.  The  results,  both  present  and  future,  of  the  interplay  of 
these  forces. 

Taking  up  these  matters  in  turn,  what  was  the  character  of 
our  population  in  1790,  the  date  of  the  first  census?  As  we  look 
back  over  our  colonizing  agencies,  we  might  at  first  glance  think 
of  this  population  as  being  very  heterogeneous.  In  New  Eng- 
land there  were  the  Puritans;  in  Virginia,  the  Cavaliers;  in 
Maryland,  the  Catholics ;  in  New  York,  a  strong  Dutch  element, 
stronger  than  is  generally  supposed ;  in  Pennsylvania  and  Dela- 
ware, one  third  of  the  population  German  or  German  descent ; 
along  the  Delaware  river, .the  descendants  of  the  Swedes ;  in  the 
Carolinas,  many  villages  of  Highlanders  and  Huguenots,  -v  ap- 
parently a  population  varied  in  race,  nationality,  religion,  tastes, 
and  speech.  And  yet,  a  careful  view  of  the  evidence  will  cause 
a  reconsideration  of  that  opinion. 


After  all,  this  1790  population  was  mainly  of  English  descent. 
The  foreign  element  was  a  considerable  portion  in  only  a  few  of 
the  colonies,  while  in  New  England,  then  comprising  in  itself 
about  one  third  of  the  total  1790  population,  there  was  perhaps 
the  purest  representation  of  the  English  people  in  the  world. 
But  whether  of  English  descent  or  no,  this  1790  population  was 
emphatically  of  Baltic  origin.  It  may  almost  be  said  to  be  ex- 
clusively Baltic,  for  the  other  elements  are  negligible,  so  much 
so  that  it  is  difficult  to  enumerate  any  non-Baltic  elements  of  the 
whole  population.  Further,  this  population  was,  in  the  main,  of 
most  excellent  stock.  It  is  true  that  many  of  the  early  comers 
were  mere  adventurers  and  in  some  of  the  southern  colonies 
worse  than  adventurers ;  it  is  true  that  in  some  of  the  colonies 
there  were  convicts  and  indentured  servants.  Nevertheless  the 
fact  of  the  excellent  stock  remains.  The  influence  of  the  un- 
desirables and  adventurers  was  never  dominant  and  diminished 
as  time  went  on;  the  convicts  were  often  merely  political 
offenders  —  men  who  had  reserved  the  right  to  think  for  them- 
selves and  so  were  the  very  best  of  colonists ;  an  important  section 
of  the  indentured  servant  class  was  composed  of  thrifty,  ambi- 
tious, progressive  people  who  served  out  an  indenture  in  order 
to  better  their  condition,  and  these  were  excellent  colonists. 
The  rest  of  the  population  was  well  sifted  indeed.  It  was  com- 
posed of  men  who  had  left  their  European  homes  because  their 
religious,  social,  political,  or  economic  ideals  were  too  large  for 
their  surroundings,  men  who  were  sufficiently  sturdy  in  mind  and 
body  to  overcome  the  perils  and  hardships  of  voyage  and  settle- 
ment. The  evidence  is  clear  that  in  mental  capacity,  physical 
qualities,  and  moral  stamina  these  settlers  were  among  the  best 
of  their  race  and  that  the  1790  population  was,  in  the  main,  of 
excellent  stock. 

Finally,  the  conditions  of  life  were  such  that  this  population 
was  not  merely  assimilated,  but  fused.  The  frontier  life  with  its 
dangers,  hardshipsVand  informal  society ;  with  its  cultivation  of 
the  capacity  for  self-government  and  of  the  spirit  of  self-reliance ; 
with  its  necessity  for  the  breaking  away  from  old  world  traditions 
and  performing  tasks  under  American  conditions,  took  but  a  gen- 
eration to  weld  the  population  into  one  people,  and  even  in  the  more 
settled  regions  the  same  forces  served  as  a  strong  fusing  agent. 


Such  was    the  1790    population.   Mainly  English,  certainly 
Baltic,  of  excellent  stock,  rapidly  becoming  fused  and  amalga- 
mated, for  one  half  century  these  people  reproduced  their  kind 
and  developed  a  national  life  and  character.  They  increased  with 
f  great  rapidity  —  an  averagejrate  of  over  34  per  centjlecade  by 
!  decade  —  until  the  population  that  had  number edTbut  3,900,000 
in  1790  was  over  17,000,000  in  1840.   In  this  entire  period  the 
immigration  they  received  was  of  the  same  Baltic  type  and  was 
insignificant  in  amount,  for  the  total  immigration  from  1776  to 
1820  did  not  exceed  250,000  and  the  great  immigration  did  not 
x  begin  until  1845. 

This,  then,  is  the  people  upon  whom  immigration  is  to  work 
its  racial  effects.  Our  next  task  is  to  estimate  the  volume  and 
character  of  the  immigration.  It  is  evident  that  our  immigration 
has  come  in  waves,  each  larger  than  its  predecessor,  and  since 
so  much  of  the  total  inflow  since  1820  is  recent,  the  more  far- 
reaching  effects  are  to  be  realized  in  the  future.  It  is  further 
evident  that  a  great  change  has  taken  place  in  the  character  and 
conditions  of  immigration.  This  question  of  changed  character 
opens  a  bitter  controversy.  Upon  the  one  side  are  those  who 
point  out  that  in  the  early  immigration  there  were  many  un- 
satisfactory elements.  Upon  the  other  side  are  those  who  contend 
that  to-day  we  are  not  only  receiving  inferior  races,  —  we  are 
getting  the  inferior  classes  of  these  races,  and  they  refer  to  the 
immigrants  of  to-day  as  the  beaten  men  of  beaten  races.  Let  us, 
if  possible,  steer  clear  of  this  controversy.  Both  sides  will,  of 
course,  agree  that  there  has  been  a  change  in  the  racial  origin  of 
our  immigration.  Both  sides  will,  probably,  further  agree  that  the 
earlier  immigrants  were  subjected  to  a  sifting  process  that  does 
not  apply  to  those  of  to-day.  The  nature  of  the  causes  of  the 
early  immigration  and  the  hard  conditions  of  voyage  and  settle- 
ment produced  that  sifting  and  sorting  of  the  earlier  period  which, 
according  to  Professor  Ripley ,  resulted  in  our  securing  immigrants 
physically  above  the  average  of  the  peoples  from  whom  they  came 
and  which  must  have  similar  effects  upon  mental  and  moral 

Both  sides  will  probably  further  agree  -that  a  change  has 
occurred  in  the  conditions  in  this  country.  For,  while  we  still 
have  many  forces  making  for  assimilation  and  while  some  of 


these  forces  are  stronger  than  ever,  nevertheless  the  immigrant  of 
to-day  comes  to  a  land  where  there  is  a  labor  problem,  where  the 
free  public  lands  which  permitted  the  dispersion  of  his  predeces- 
sors and  were  the  escape  valve  of  the  nation,  are  no  longer  avail- 
able, where  such  development  has  taken  place  that  we  are  now 
turning  back  upon  ourselves,  where  the  social  organism  has  be- 
come so  large  that  the  formation  of  inner  classes  is  readily  possi- 
ble, and  where  such  concentration  of  nationalities  has  already  | 
taken  place  that  many  assimilative  forces  haveTbeen  seriously  \ 
impeded.  In  this  connection  it  should  be  noted  that  the  changes 
which  have  taken  place  in  this  country  are  of  such  a  kind  and 
character  that  they  will  be  more  and  not  less  pronounced  in  the 
years  to  come. 

In  our  discussion  thus  far  we  have  seen  the  character  of 
the  population  upon  which  immigration  was  to  work  its  effects 
and  we  have  seen  the  volume  and  the  changed  conditions  of  that 
immigration.  We  come  now  to  our  third  problem,  the  outcome, 
the,  race  effects,  fcet  u"s  again  avoid  controversial  matters  as  far 
as  may  be.  Clearly  there  are  but  two  great  elements  to  'w  con- 
sidered. One  of  these  is  heredity;  that  is,  the  permanent  race 
traits  and  characteristics  of  those  who  form  and  are  to  form  ow 
population.  The  other  is  environment,  both  social  and  physical. 

Now  since  the  changed  character  of  immigration  has  been  a 
thing  comparatively  recent  let  us  hinge  our  further  discussion 
upon  this  fact  of  changed  character  and  inquire  :  ist.  What  were 
the  effects  of  the  earlier  immigration?  2d.  What  are  to  be  the 
effects  of  the  present  and  future  immigration? 

As  to  the  racial  effects  of  the  earlier  immigration  time  will 
only  permit  a  couple  of  propositions  that  I  am  content  to  let 
stand  or  fall  according  to  their  own  inherent  reasonableness. 

The  first  of  these  propositions  is  that  the  early  immigrant 
did  not  produce  any  very  serious  racial  change,  (i)  His  environ- 
ment was  such  as  to  render  him  entirely  American.  The  qualities 
possessed  both  by  him  and  by  his  new  home  rendered  assimilation 
easy  and  rapid.  (2)  His  racial  traits  were  practically  identical 
with  the  racial  traits  of  those  whom  he  found  here.  He  was 
Baltic  (undoubtedly  there  were  some  bad  elements  in  this  early 
tide,  however)  and  he  was  but  added  to  a  Baltic  population. 
(3)  His  method  of  selection  was,  upon  the  whole,  most  excellent  , 


We  have  already  seen  that,  by  the  very  force  of  circumstances, 
those  early  immigrants  were  physically,  mentally,  and  .morally 
the  pick  of  the  nations  from  which  they  came.  True  it  is  that  at 
certain  times  undesirable  classes  came,  but  perhaps  this  may 
not  have  been  so  much  an  argument  against  the  entire  body  as 
an  argument  for  some  sane  restriction  or  regulation  of  immigra- 
tion even  at  this  early  period. 

The  second  proposition  is  that  while  the  earlier  immigration 
did  not,  in  the  elements  it  contributed,  produce  serious  racial 
change,  it  is  at  least  an  open  question  as  to  whether  it  did  not 
check  the  increase  of  the  population  of  colonial  descent.  That 
there  has  been  a  great  decline  in  the  birth  rate  of  the  original 
(colonial)  stock  there  can  be  no  possible  doubt.  Had  no  decline 
taken  place,  our  population  from  native  stock  alone  would  to-day 
amount  to  some  100,000,000  and  the  element  of  "  colonial  de- 
scent" would  to-day  be  three  times  as  large  as  the  element  of 
"  immigrant  descent,"  according  to  some  authorities. 

But  was  this  decline  due  to  immigration?  In  answering  this 
question,  it  should  be  frankly  recognized  upon  the  one  hand  that 
if  immigration  did  so  operate,  it  was  doubtless  but  one  of  several 
forces  acting  in  the  same  direction,  though  possibly  a  very  im- 
portant one.  It  should  be  as  frankly  recognized,  upon  the  other 
hand,  that  it  is  never  possible  to  establish  with  mathematical  ex- 
actness a  relation  of  cause  and  effect  in  elusive  social  phenomena. 
All  that  can  be  done  is  to  present  the  usual  evidence  and  each 
must  be  convinced  or  not  convinced  according  to  his  estimate  of 
the  value  of  the  evidence. 

1.  Part  of  this  evidence  is  the  evidence  of  authority,  that  is, 
the  statements  of  many  families  and  many  earnest  students,  in 
short,  those  in  a  position  to  know,  as  to  what  has  taken  place. 
There  may  be  said  to  be  a  very  considerable  agreement  upon  this 

2.  But  aside  from  the  evidence  of  authority,  it  is  urged  that 
what  little  we  understand  of  the  laws  of  population  and  its  in- 
crease renders  it  quite  probable  that  a  causal  connection  should 
exist  between  immigration  and  the  checking  of  native  increase. 
It  is  argued  that  the  presence  of  the  immigrant  and  his  compe- 
tition should  be  expected  to  give  a  sentimental  and  an  economic 
cause  for  a  check  to  the  increase  of  population, — a  generalization 


that  would  apply  with  particular  force  to  our  original  Baltic 
stock  which  had  great  race  pride  and  a  strong  desire  to  give  its 
children  every  advantage. 

3.  It  is  further  pointed  out  that  the  decline  of  the  native 
stock  began  and  kept  pace  with  the  flow  of  immigration.   This 
may,  of  course,  have  been  a  coincidence,  but  the  facts  are  beyond 
dispute  that  in  the  period  from  1790-1830,  a  period  of  practically 
no  immigration,  our  population  increased  decade  by  decade  at 
an  average  rate  of  34.5  per  cent,  while  in  the  period  from  1830- 
1860,  a  period  of  great  immigration,  the  native  stock  retarded 
its  increase  so  that  the  average  rate  of  increase  of  the  whole 
population  was  only  34.7  per  cent. 

4.  Again,   it  is  urged   that,   as  far  as  can  be  determined, 
this  decline  in  the  native  stock  took  place  mainly  in  those  regions 
in  which  the  immigrants  concentrated.   This,  also,  may  have 
been  a  coincidence,  but  it  does  seem  possible  to  trace  a  connection   * 
between  large  families  of  native  stock  and  districts  not  invaded 
by  immigration.    It  seems  to  be  true  of  whole  sections  such  as  the 
South,  of  single  states  such  as  West  Virginia,  and  even  of  small 
districts  within  states. 

5.  Another  argument  that  is  advanced  is  that  in  the  period 
1830-1860,  the  time  when  the  checking  of  the  native  stock  began, 
other  causes  for  this  checking  are  hard  to  establish.    It  is  pointed 
out  that  this  was  a  period  more  favorable  to  life  and  reproduction 
than  was  the  period  before  1830.   The  pressure  of  city  life  was 
not  yet  heavily  felt,  for  even  in  1850  the  urban  population  was 
but  12.5  per  cent  of  the  total;   the  average  density  of  popula- 
tion was  only  7.9  per  square  mile ;    there  were  great  areas  of 
public  lands  open,  and,  further,  great  progress  had  been  made  in 
medicine,  food,  and  clothing.   And  yet  it  is  in  this  period  that 
the  native  stock  begins  to  limit  its  increase. 

6.  A  final  bit  of  evidence  rests  upon  the  recent  investiga- 
tions of  population  in  the  coal  fields.   These  investigations  seem 
to  indicate  that  even  as  the  earlier  immigrant  checked  the  increase 
of  native  stock,  so  the  immigrant  of  to-day  is  checking  the  in- 
crease of  the  earlier  immigrant  stock.   If  this  be  true,  its  impor- 
tance can  scarcely  be  overestimated,  for  it  would  indicate  that 
immigration  not  only  has  been,  but  will  continue  to  be,  a  process 
of  replacement  rather  than  of  addition.   It  puts  us  face  to  face 


with  a  vital   question  as  to   the   future   composition   of   our 

By  way  of  final  statement  as  to  the  effect  of  our  early  im- 
migration it  seems  pretty  clear  that,  while  undoubtedly  it  con- 
tained elements  not  ideal,  it  did  not  produce  racial  change  be- 
cause, Baltic  itself,  it  was  added  to  a  Baltic  population  in  such  a 
way  and  under  such  conditions  that  it  was  readily  assimilated. 
It  is  not  so  certain,  however,  but  that  it  did  cause  a  decline  of 
the  native  birth  rate  and  so  served  to  replace  our  native  popu- 
lation, and  whether  this  was  desirable  or  no  each  must  decide 
for  himself. 

We  come  now  to  the  effects,  present  and  future,  of  the  Alpine 
and  Mediterranean  immigration  to-day.   Time  will  permit  only 
\  a  series  of  short  propositions  concerning  this  recent  immigration. 

1.  As   far   as  can  be  predicted  to-day,   the  change  in  the 
character  of  immigration  is  to  become  more  marked  and  its  vol- 
ume is  to  increase.   The  origin  of  our  immigration  is  swinging 
more  and  more  to  the  east  and,  judging  from  the  data  now  at 
hand,  such  as  the  trend  of  statistics,  the  lines  of  steamship  devel- 
opment, the  tapping  of  new  centers  of  population  in  Asia  by 
railroad  lines,  the  attitude  of  the  immigrants,  and  investigations 
such  as  those  of  Mr.  Brandenburg,  —  judging  from  this  and  other 
data,  unless  conditions  change  or  restriction  takes  place,  it  is  not 
merely  present  immigration  but  that  of  ten  or  fifteen  years  hence 
that  should  command  our  attention.   Under  present  laws  and 
regulations  this  immigration  will  doubtless  continue  to  flow  as 
long  as  there  is  any  difference  of  level  in  the  status  of  Europe 
and  America.   Mr.  Bryce    called    this  "drainage,"  and    Prof. 
Walker  referred  to  it  as  "pipe  line  immigration."   We  need  not 

/  commit  ourselves  to  these  rather  offensive  terms,  but  we  cannot 

1  close  our  eyes  to  the  fact  that  the  essential  features  of  the  propo- 

\  sition  are  fairly  defensible.   Inasmuch  as  there  is  great  doubt 

I  whether  emigration  from  Europe  has  in  the  least  diminished  the 

pressure  of  population  or  has  greatly  raised  the  standard  of 

living  there,  the  possible  proportions  of  the  problem  are  fairly 

j  clearly  indicated. 

2.  Assuming    these    conditions    of    changed    character    and 
increased  volume,  there  will  undoubtedly  be  considerable  racial 
change.   Indeed,  competent  authorities  assert  that  a  change  is 


already  noticeable  in  regions  in  which  our  newer  immigrants 
have  concentrated.  If  this  be  true  to-day  there  can  be  little 
doubt  but  that  the  future  has  in  store  considerable  changes  if  the 
tide  of  immigration  flows  unchecked.  And  this  will  be  especially 
the  case  if  it  be  true  that  immigration  so  affects  the  principle  of 
population  that  our  present  stock  is  replaced  rather  than  supple- 
mented by  the  new  arrivals. 

3.  The  third  proposition  must  be  put  in  the  form  of  a 
question.  Will  this  changejbe  a,  good  or  a  bad  one?  Here,  of 
course,  is  tlie  crux  of  the  whole  matter.  In  order  to  avoid  a  con- 
troversy that  could  not  possibly  be  satisfactorily  treated  in  the 
time  at  my  disposal,  I  am  sure  I  shall  be  pardoned  if  I  merely 
indicate  some  of  the  questions  to  be  answered  if  one  is  to  arrive 
at  a  sane  judgment  on  this  matter.  Discussion  of  these  questions 
may  the  more  readily  be  omitted  since  practically  every  one  has 
already  reached  some  conclusion  as  to  most  of  them. 

But  before  proposing  this  series  of  questions  it  should  be 
noted  that  it  is  not  safe  to  try  to  reach  any  conclusion  by  that 
overworked  argument  as  to  the  mixture  of  races.  The  trouble 
with  the  argument  is  that  it  proves  nothing  either  way.  It  proves 
nothing  historically,  contrary  to  public  opinion,  for  while  some 
mixed  races  have  been  successful,  others  have  been  most  wretched 
failures.  Further,  anthropology  and  ethnology  frankly  admit  4 
they  can  predicate  nothing  frorrTrmxture  of  races,  nothing  opti-  j 
mistic,  nothing  pessimistic.  It  is  simply  an  argument  of  little  or  ] 
no  scientific  value. 

We  must  abandon  the  popular  mixture  of  races  argumenl^-y 
and  turn  to  the  fundamental  elements  of  the  problem ;  upon  the 
one  hand  environment,  both  social  and  physical,  upon  the  other 
hand  race  characteristics.  Since  the  physical  environment  is  a 
matter  which  we  can  control  but  little  and  one  that  operates  upon 
all,  we  may  omit  it  in  this  discussion  and  then  the  questions  to 
be  answered  are  fairly  obvious.  Are  the  permanent  racial  char- 
acteristics, —  those  they  will  retain  after  they,  have  changed  na- 
tionality, religion,  tongue,  and  customs,  —  are  these  permanent 
racial  characteristics  of  the  newcomers  such  as  will  be  satisfactory 
to  a  democracy  ?  Are  they  by  racial  disposition  fitted  or  unfitted 
for  the  exercise  of  political  rights  ?  Undoubtedly,  they,  like  all 
other  peoples,  have  some  bad  qualities.  Will  these  qualities 



change  with  a  change  of  environment,  or  are  they  inbred  and 
permanent?  Suppose,  for  the  sake  of  the  argument,  that  immi- 
gration means  replacement,  are  we  willing  to  turn  over  to  ele- 
ments other  than  Baltic  the  control  of  the  future  of  the  nation  ? 
Would  it  be  a  good,  a  bad,  or  an  indifferent  thing  if  in  the  future 
the  race  composition  of  this  nation  should  be  such  that  the  Baltic 
element  would,  compared  with  the  other  elements,  hold  some 
such  position  as  the  descendants  of  colonial  stock  hold?  In 
a  word,  are  the  permanent  race  traits  of  the  newcomers  equal 
in  quality  to  those  of.  the  present  stock  ?  We  must  remember 
that,  as  Professor  Commons  says,  "race  and  heredity  form  the 
raw  material,  education  and  environment  form  the  tools  to 
fashion  social  institutions." 

And  as  to  environment.  Here  a  series  of  questions  arises, 
and  to  discuss  any  one  of  them  in  even  a  cursory  manner  would 
require  a  whole  paper  in  itself.  It  deals  with  the  effect  of  the 
present  immigrant  upon  a  list  of  matters  ranging  through  disease, 
illiteracy,  pauperism,  crime,  tendency  to  form  classes,  standard 
of  living,  and  a  host  of  others,  not  the  least  important  of  which 
is  the  fact  that  since  the  so-called  lower  classes  are  the  classes 
with  large  families,  from  the  racial  point  of  view  it  is  highly 
worth  considering  who  are  to  compose  the  lower  classes.  Then, 
too,  we  should  not  forget  that  the  future  aspects  of  this  problem 
are  the  important  ones.  Suppose,  for  the  sake  of  the  argument 
at  least,  that  the  number  coming  is  to  increase  and  the  change  in 
racial  origin  to  become  more  marked,  what  then?  These  are 
some  of  the  questions  to  be  considered. 

And  must  the  whole  discussion  end  with  a  question?  Yes 
and  no.  As  far  as  it  can  be  treated  in  a  short  paper  merely  in- 
tended to  outline  the  nature  of  the  problem  —  yes,  though  that 
is  doubtless  displeasing  to  the  mind  that  demands  a  short,  satis- 
factory answer,  whether  true  or  false.  But  the  matter  is  not 
altogether  indefinite.  Some  few  things  are  pretty  clear:  (i) 
This  people,  before  the  great  tides  of  immigration  began,  was 
mainly  Baltic  and  mainly  of  excellent  stock.  (2)  This  people  has 
been  influenced  to  a  considerable  degree  by  immigration.  Prob- 
ably the  racial  effects  of  the  early  immigration  were  not  great, 
but  to-day  conditions  are  different.  There  has  been  a  change  in 
the  racial  origin  of  our  immigration,  a  change  in  the  method  of 



selection,  and  a  change  in  the  conditions  of  this  country.  (3)  If 
present  conditions,  laws,  and  tendencies  continue  (a  large  "if," 
this),  there  will  clearly  be  considerable  racial  change  in  the  future. 
Whether  such  a  change  would  be  a  good  or  a  bad  thing,  each 
must  decide  for  himself,  and  it  rests  with  the  American  people  to 
decide  whether  for  their  own  interests  and  for  the  interests  of  the 
world  in  general  they  desire  the  change. 


PAUL  U.  KELLOGG,  A.M.,  EDITOR,  The  Survey 


THE  line  of  least  resistance  in  extending  the  protection  of  the 
state  over  labor  conditions  has  been  to  enact  laws  with 
respect,  to  women  and  children.  The  world-old  instinct  of  the 
strong  to  shelter  the  weak  has  led  the  conservative  to  join  forces 
with  the  radical,  in  prohibiting  child  labor  and  in  shortening  the 
hours  of  women's  work.  On  the  other  hand  the  liberty  loving 
tradition  of  a  male  democracy  has  more  often  than  not  thrown 
the  balance  on  the  other  side  of  the  scale  when  the  exercise  of 
public  control  over  men's  labor  has  been  under  discussion. 

This  tendency  has  been  repeated  in  the  movement  toward  mini- 
mum wage  legislation.  The  voluntary  Massachusetts  law  which 
goes  into  effect  this  year  concerns  women  and  children ;  and  so, 
too,  does  the  compulsory  statute  which  has  just  passed  the 
Oregon  legislature.  Public  discussion  the  past  winter  has  centered 
around  relation  between  the  low.  wages  paid  working  girls  and 

Accident  legislation  is  an  exception  to  this  tendency  in  the  field 
of  labor  legislation.  We  do  not  think  of  limiting  compensation 
laws  to  the  girls  who  lose  an  eye  or  a  hand ;  we  are  perhaps 
even  more  concerned  that  industry  bear  its  human  wear  and  tear 
when  workingmen  are  crippled  or  their  lives  snuffed  out.  The 
explanation  is,  of  course,  a  simple  one;  in  this  connection  we 
conceive  of  the  workingman  as  the  breadwinner  of  a  family 
group ;  and  in  self -protection  American  commonwealths  are 
belatedly  devising  schemes  of  insurance  which  will  safeguard 
those  dependent  upon  him. 

J     As  we  come  to  look  at  the  problem  of  living  wages  more  closely, 
Jmy  belief  is  that  legislatures  and  courts  will  increasingly  take 

1  From  the  Annals  of  the  American  Academy  of  Political  and  Social  Science, 
July,  1913. 



cognizance  of  the  household  and  community  well-being  which 
hangs  on  the  earnings  of  men.  It  is  this  aspect  which  makes  the 
question  of  the  minimum  wage  as  it  concerns  common  labor  — 
;,nd  as  it  is  aggravated  by  immigration  —  if  anything,  more 
serious  than  the  question  of  the  minimum  wage  as  it  concerns 

We  have  seen  whole  cities  scotched  by  the  floods.  Our  self- 
er  grossed  neglect  of  the  water  courses  of  the  midwestern  basin, 
tho  encroachments  of  private  holdings  upon  the  beds  of  streams, 
and  the  persistent  stripping  of  their  woodsy  sources  have  brought 
a  retribution.  The  nation  leaps  to  tardy  relief  as  the  waters 
bur^t  the  dams,  strangle  men  and  women,  and  swamp  the  cities  in 
their  course.  Dwellings  go  under  before  men's  eyes  and  whole 
communities  which  have  taken  their  security  for  granted  see 
store  and  street  and  familiar  meeting  place  sunk  in  currents  over 
which  t'vey  have  lost  control.  It  has  all  been  spectacular  and 
vivid.  Ti  e  laws  of  gravitation  and  of  fluids,  the  "Mene,  Mene, 
Tekel"  of  LTIOW  private  ends  and  of  public  preoccupation  have 
been  written  .  irge  in  mud  and  privation.  Misery  has  daubed  its 
lesson  up  and  dovvn  the  river  valleys  for  all  men  to  read. 

The  economic  ebb  and  flood  of  our  common  life  has  usually  no 
such  spectacular  appeal  to  the  imagination ;  yet,  if  we  turn  to  the 
forty  volumes  of  the  federal  immigration  commission  —  volumes 
which,  seemingly,  Congress  has  done  its  best  to  keep  from  general 
reading  —  we  find  a  story  of  household  wreckage  and  of  the  slow 
undermining  of  community  life  as  real  as  this  seven  days'  wonder 
of  the  Ohio  Valley.  They  show  us  that  in  the  states  east  of  the 
Rocky  Mountains  the  basic  industries  are  to-day  manned  by 
foreigners  three  to  two ;  that  there  are  as  many  names  on  these 
pay-rolls  from  eastern  Europe  and  Asia  as  there  are  names  of 
native-born  and  second  generation  Americans  put  together.  They 
do  not  show  that  the  new  immigrants  have  hired  out  as  common 
laborers  for  less  pay  than  the  old  did  in  their  time,  for  the  revolu- 
tionary rise  in  prices  throughout  the  period  under  discussion 
must  be  taken  into  account.  But  they  go  far  to  show  that  the 
newcomers  have  at  least  kept  down  wages  and  have  perpetuated 
other  standards  against  which  the  older  men  were  ready  to 
protest.  Of  the  heads  of  foreign  households  tabulated  by  the 
commission,  seven  out  of  ten  earned  less  than  $600  a  year, 


while  among  the  native-born  the  proportion  was  only  four  out  cf 
ten.  Of  the  foreigners  very  nearly  four  out  of  ten  earned  undt;r 
$400  a  year,  or  an  average,  this  last  year,  of  less  than  $1.50  per 
working  day.  In  less  than  four  out  of  ten  of  the  foreign-born 
households  were  the  husband's  earnings  depended  upon  as  the 
sole  sources  of  family  income. 

^  In  a  word,  the  immigration  commission's  report  was  an  ext  m- 
sive  exhibit  that  the  American  day  laborer's  pay  is  less  thaa  a 
living  wage  for  a  workman's  family  by  any  standard  set  by  any 
reputable  investigation  of  the  cost  of  living;  that  the  bultc  of 
day  laborers  are  immigrants ;  that  their  numbers  and  industrial 
insecurity  are  such  as  to  perpetuate  these  low  pay  levels  and  to 
introduce  and  make  prevalent  lower  standards  of  living-  than 
customary  among  the  workmen  they  come  among. 

The  commission's  figures  are  such  as  to  give  strength  to  the 
searching  charge  of  the  immigration  res  trie  tionists  th?rc  "so  long 
as  every  rise  of  wages  operates  merely  to  suck  in  unlimited  thou- 
sands of  the  surplus  population  of  Europe  and  Asia  .  no  permanent 
raising  of  our  own  standards  can  be  hoped  for.' 

Nine  out  of  ten  of  the  common  laborers  of  America  are  to-day 
of  the  new  immigration.  A  light  is  thrown  on  why  they  lend 
themselves  to  exploitation  by  the  facts  that  before  coming  only 
a  third  of  these  eastern  Europeans  and  Asians  can  read  and 
write ;  that  half  are  peasants  and  farm  hands ;  that  only  an 
ighth  are  labor  unionists ;  and  that  nearly  afif  th  have  never  in 
their  lives  worked  at  wages.  Neither  in  literacy^  industrial  skill, 
money-wisdom,  nor  cohesive  strength  are  they  as  self-resourceful 
as  the  men  of  the  immigration  which  preceded  them,  much  less  of 
the  native-born.  More  important  to  my  mind  than  the  fact  that 
before  coming  a  third  are  unlettered,  is  the  fact  that  nearly  a 
fifth  have  never  worked  for  wages  before  coming. 

We  have  assumed  that  the  economic  law  of  supply  and  demand 
would  bring  a  wholesome  equilibrium  to  this  inrush  of  the  terrible 
flood.  As  well  count  on  trie  law  of  gravitation  to  solve  the  flood 
problem  of  the  Miami.  That  law  is,  to  be  sure,  the  ultimate  rule 
of  physics  on  which  any  scheme  of  flood  prevention  must  be 
based.  Water  is  health-giving,  thirst-quenching,  power-giving, 
beneficial ;  gravity  holds  the  world  to  its  course ;  but  left  to  their 
own  devices  water  and  mass  attraction  may  become  brute  forces 


for  destruction.  So,  too,  the  unregulated  forces  of  an  economic 

Let  us  consider  some  of  the  social  reactions  which  these  forces, 
left  to  their  own  devices,  have  exacted. 

They  have  changed  the  make-up  of  entire  communities  among 
us.  During  the  Westmoreland  coal  strike,  whole  villages  of 
miners  were  evicted  with  their  families  from  the  company  houses 
and  new  miners  installed.  But  what  happened  thus  overtly  in 
strike  time  has  been  going  on  slowly  and  half -noticed  throughout 
western  Pennsylvania  for  twenty  years.  The  function  of  the 
old  pick  miners  has  been  largely  done  away  with.  With  the 
coming  in  of  new  methods  and  mine  machinery,  their  labor 
organizations  have  been  driven  out,  and  they,  themselves,  have 
left  the  Connellsville  region  for  the  new  fields  of  the  middle  West 
and  Southwest,  where  the  pressure  of  competition  by  recent 
immigrants  is  not  so  strong.  Churches,  lodges,  the  whole  slow- 
growing  fabric  of  English-speaking  community  life,  have  been 
supplanted  by  a  new  order.  And  not  only  have  the  immigrants 
dislodged  the  earlier  races  from  their  footing,  but  their  own  indus- 
trial tenure  is  insecure.  Dwellers  in  company  houses,  whole 
communities,  live  by  sufferance  of  the  mine  operators  who  can 
call  in  new  greeners  to  take  their  places. 

The  effect  on  household  life  has  been  as  disturbing  as  that  upon 
community  life.  At  these  low  economic  grades  people  live  on  the 
boarding  boss  system,  one  woman  cooking,  washing,  and  keeping 
house  for  from  two  to  twenty  lodgers  who  sometimes  sleep  two 
shifts  to  a  bed. 

It  might  be  thought  that  the  immigrants'  desire  to  save  is 
responsible  for  these  results.  In  part  that  is  true.  As  the  Pitts- 
burgh survey  pointed  out,  a  single  man  can  lay  by  a  stocking 
full  at  this  barracks  life ;  a  boarding  boss  can  get  ahead  at  cost 
of  a  dead  baby  or  two,  or  his  wife's  health ;  a  whole  family  can 
eat,  sleep,  and  live  in  a  single  room ;  but  the  foreigner  who  takes 
America  in  earnest  and  tries  to  settle  here  and  support  a  family, 
must  figure  closer  than  our  wisest  standard  of  living  experts 
have  been  able  to  do,  if  he  succeeds  in  making  good  on  a  day 
labor  wage.  The  Buffalo  survey  found  #1.50  as  the  common 
labor  rate  in  that  city  in  1910.  The  maximum  income  which  a 
common  laborer  can  earn  working  every  day  but  Sundays  and 


holidays  at  $i  .50  per  day  is  #450  a  year ;  bad  weather,  slack  work 
and  sickness,  cut  this  down  to  #400  for  a  steady  worker  Yet  the 
lowest  budget  for  a  man,  his  wife  and  three  children  which  Buffalo 
relief  workers  would  tolerate  was  $560^  There  is  a  deficit  here  of 
#160  which  must  be  made  up  by 'skimping  or  by  income  from  other 
sources,  and  that  deficit  is  as  much  as  the  man  himself  can  earn  by 
four  months'  solid  labor.  Yet  this  budget  called  for  but  three 
small  rooms,  for  five  people,  to  sleep,  eat,  and  live  in ;  called  for 
but  5  cents  a  week  for  each  one  of  the  family  for  recreation  and 
extravagance.  How  people  make  shift  against  such  odds  was 
illustrated  by  one  household  where  in  a  little  room  6  feet  by  9, 
a  room  which  had  no  window  at  all  to  let  in  air,  they  found  two 
cots  each  with  a  man  in  it,  and  a  bed  which  held  two  young 
men  and  two  girls,  one  of  whom  was  thirteen  years  old.  This 
was  not  a  house  of  prostitution.  It  was  a  family  which  had 
taken  in  lodgers  to  increase  its  income. 

Household  and  community  life  are  further  affected  by  the  in- 
filtration of  women-employing  trades  in  centers  of  immigrant 
employment;  and  with  it  the  spread  of  the  family  wage,  not 
the  family  wage  earned  by  the  man,  but  the  family  wage  earned 
by  man,  woman,  and  children  all  together,  such  as  is  the  curse  of 
Fall  River  and  the  cotton  towns  of  Massachusetts. 

The  New  York  bureau  of  labor  statistics  has  just  issued  its 
report  on  the  Little  Falls  strike,  the  first  adequate  pay  roll 
investigation  ever  made  in  New  York  at  the  time  of  a  strike 
against  a  reduction  in  wages.  Nearly  half  of  the  men  were  found 
to  be  receiving  #9  a  week  or  less.  Nearly  24  per  cent  were 
receiving  not  over  #7.50  per  week ;  48^-  per  cent  of  all  the  women 
employed  were  receiving  $7.50  or  less  and  30  per  cent  received 
#6  or  less.  The  official  figures  taken  from  the  pay  rolls  by  the 
bureau  of  labor  statistics  tended  to  justify  substantially  what  the 
strikers  had  alleged  as  to  their  wages.  The  testimony  of  the 
employers  before  the  bureau  of  arbitration  that  the  wages 
paid  in  Little  Falls  were  not  less  than  those  paid  in  other  mills 
in  the  district  indicates  that  here  is  a  problem  not  of  one  locality 
alone.  "The  one  outstanding  and  unavoidable  conclusion  of  this 
report,"  says  the  bureau  of  labor  statistics,  "is  that  there  is  need 
of  a  thorough  and  general  investigation  of  the  cost  of  living  among 
the  textile  workers  of  the  Mohawk  Valley." 


This  trend  toward  the  family  wage  is  a  matter  of  much  concern 
to  the  state  of  Pennsylvania  in  the  years  ahead,  with  the  coming  of 
textile  mills  to  the  coal  regions,  and  with  the  widespread  develop- 
ment of  the  state's  water  power.  I  was  told  at  the  time  of  the 
strike  in  the  railroad  shops  at  Altoona  —  it  may  be  hearsay, 
but  there  was  truth  in  the  underlying  tendency  —  that  in  the 
councils  of  the  local  Chamber  of  Commerce  the  Pennsylvania 
Railroad  had  been  averse  to  inducing  any  metal  trades  establish- 
ments to  settle  in  Altoona.  The  reason  ascribed  by  my  informant 
was  that  these  establishments  would  have  competed  as  em- 
ployers in  hiring  mechanics  and  the  men's  wages  would  have 
gone  up  locally.  But  invitation  to  textile  mills  was  encouraged 
-  textile  mills  which  would  employ  wives  and  daughters  and 
increase  family  incomes  while  lessening  the  tuggingsTal  the  car 
shop  pay  roll. 

Let  me  cite  a  case  brought  out  last  year  at  a  hearing  before 
the  New  Jersey  immigration  commission.  This  was  an  account 
book  of  a  methodical  German  weaver  in  a  Passaic  woolen  mill. 
It  illustrates  the  soil  in  which  the  revolutionary  labor  movement 
is  taking  root  so  fast  and  which  the  sanctioned  institutions  of 
society,  in  more  than  this  solitary  instance,  have  failed  to  con- 
serve. The  man  is  forty-five  years  old,  a  weaver  of  twenty- 
seven  years'  experience,  and  his  expertness  as  a  workman  is,  it 
was  said,  shown  by  the  fact  that  he  had  seldom  or  never  been 
fined  for  flaws  in  his  work  —  one  of  the  grievances  most  keenly 
felt  by  a  majority  of  the  strikers.  The  record  showed  a  total 
income  of  $347.40  for  nine  months.  And  a  careful  estimate 
put  the  annual  earnings  on  which  this  father  of  thirteen  —  three 
now  "  under  the  ground,"  three  now  old  enough  to  work  —  could 
count  upon  from  his  own  efforts  in  bringing  up  his  family,  as 
less  than  $500. 

The  record  revealed  much  else,  good  and  bad,  besides  this 
blighting  total.  In  the  first  place  it  showed  the  seasons.  Except 
in  bad  years  the  woolen  trade  is  said  to  have  no  period  of  shut 
down.  But  July  and  August  are  slack  months  and  the  short 
hours  worked  flattened  out  his  pay  envelopes  for  weeks  at.  a  time. 
Settlement  and  charity  organization  workers  know  that  there 
is  nothing  that  tends  toward  demoralization  in  a  family  like  an 
unsteady  income  —  up  and  down.  No  pay  at  all  was  received  by 


this  weaver  for  the  week  of  June  12  (fifty-five  hours'  work). 
His  explanation  was  that  some  wool  is  bad  and  requires  constant 
mending,  keeping  the  output  low,  .that  pay  was  strictly  based 
on  the  number  of  yards  turned  out,  and  that  no  payments  were 
made  until  a  certain  quantity  was  on  hand.  This  no-pay  week 
was  followed  by  a  low  pay  week  of  June  19.  That  is,  after  two 
weeks'  work  amounting  to  no  hours  at  the  looms,  with  practi- 
cally no  fines  for  flaws,  a  weaver  of  twenty-seven  years'  experience 
took  home  #6.65.  It  is  this  SQrt_of^  pressure  which  sends  the 
women  and  children  of  a  householdto  the  mills. 

IWeTmay  differ  as  to  the  desirability  of  the  'entry  of  women  into 
industry,  and  as  to  its-  effect  on  the  women  and  on  the  home ; 
but  we  should  be  united  in  holding  that  if  the  women  go  into 
the  world's  work,  their  earnings  should  lift  the  joint  income  to 
new  and  higher  levels,  and  not  merely  supplement  the  less  than 
family  wage  paid  the  man ;  add  two  and  two,  only  to  find  that  the 
resulting  sum  is  two. 

It  is  to  be  said  for  this  onrush  of  international  workmen  that 
they  have  supplied  a  flexible  working  force  to  American  manu- 
facture and  have  stimulated  industrial  expansion  beyond  all 
bounds.  But  against  these  gains  must  be  set  off  the  fact  that  they 
have  as  powerfully  accentuated  city  congestion  and  all  its  attend- 
ant evils,  and  have  aggravated  unemployment.  The  immigra- 
tion commission  found  that  in  some  industries  the  oversupply  of 
unskilled  labor  had  reached  a  point  where  a  curtailed  number  of 
working  days  results  in  a  yearly  income  much  less  than  is  indi- 
cated by  the  daily  rate  paid. 

A  more  serious  aspect  of  the  situation  is  that  changes  in  machin- 
ery are  adapted  to  the  permanent  utilization  of  these  great 
masses  of  crude  labor  —  60  per  cent  of  the  whole  force  in  steel 
production  for  example.  The  old  time  ditch  diggers  and  railroad 
construction  gangs  paved  the  way  for  our  city  trades  and  train 
crews.  They  were  building  foundations  for  normal  work  and 
life.  They  appealed  to  the  get  ahead  qualities  in  men.  The 
new  day  labor  is  a  fixed,  subnormal  element  in  our  present 
scheme  of  production  fit  stays  yit  will  "continue  to  stay  so  long  as 
back  muscles  are  cheaper  than  other  methods  of  doing  the  work. 

My  own  feeling  is  that  immigrants  bring  us  ideals,  cultures, 
red  blood,  which  are  an  asset  for  America  or  would  be  if  we  gave 


them  a  chance.  But  what  is  undesirable,  beyond  all  peradven-  / 
ture,  is  our  great  bottom-lands  of  gmVk-cashT  low-mcorne^em- 
ployments  in  which  they  are  bogged.  X  We  suffer  not  because 
the  immigrant  comes  with  a  cultural  deficit,  but  because  the 
immigrant  workman  brings  to  America  a  potential  economic 
surplus  above  a  single  man's  wants,  which  is  exploited  to  the 
grave  and  unmeasured  injury  of  family  and  community  life 
among  us. 

I  have  reviewed  the  situation  much  along  the  lines  in  which  it 
impressed  me  two  years  ago,  at  a  time  that  the  immigration  report 
was  first  given  to  the  public.   What  have  we  done  about  it  in  those  / 
two  years  —  or  for  that  matter,  in  the  last  decade  ? 

What  have  we  Americans  done  ?   I  am  afraid  the  cartoonist  of  j 
the  future  is  going  to  have  good  cause  to  draw  the  present  day  1 
manufacturer  pleading  with  one  hand  for  federal  interference  \ 
against  his  foreign  competitors,  and  with  the  other  beckoning  to  I 
the  police  to  protect  him  against  strike  riots ;   but  resisting  with  \ 
both  hands  every  effort  of  the  public  to  exert  any  control  what-   1 
ever  over  his  own  dealings  with  his  work  people.   Petty  magis- 
trates and  police,  state  militia  and  the  courts  —  all  these  were 
brought  to  bear  by  the  great  commonwealth  of  Massachusetts, 
once  the  Lawrence  strikers  threatened  the  public  peace.   But 
what  had  the  great  commonwealth  of  Massachusetts  done  to 
protect  the  people  of  Lawrence  against  the  insidious  canker  of 
subnormal  wages  which  were  and  are  blighting  family  life?   Do 
not  mistake  me  :  The  exceptional  employer  has  done  courageous 
acts  in  standing  out  for  decent  wages  in  the  face  of  competition 
from  those  who  are  not  squeamish  in  their  treatment  of  their 
help;    but  employers  as  a  body  have  quite  failed  to  impose 
minimum  standards  on  the  whole  employing  group;    and  the 
exploiters  have  brought  whole  trades  into  obloquy. 

Nor  have  the  trade-unions  met  any  large  responsibility  toward 
unskilled  labor.  Through  apprenticeship,  skill,  organization,  they 
have  endeavored  to  keep  their  own  heads  above  the  general 
level.  Common  labor  has  been  left  as  the  hindmost  for  the 
devil  to  take.  The  mine  workers  and  brewers  and  some  few  other 
trades  are  organized  industrially  from  top  to  bottom,  every  man 
in  the  industry ;  but  for  the  most  part  common  laborers  have 
had  to  look  elsewhere  than  to  the  skilled  crafts  for  succor. 



They  have  had  it  held  out  to  them  by  the  I.  W.  W.,  which 
stands  for  industrial  organization,  for  one  big  union  embracing 
every  man  in  the  industry,  for  the  mass  strike,  for  benefits  to 
the  rank  and  file  here  and  now,  and  not  in  some  far-away  political 
upheaval.  This  is  what  has  given  the  revolutionary  industrialists 
their  popular  appeal,  so  disturbing  both  to  the  old  craft  unions 
and  the  socialist  party.  We  may  or  may  not  like  the  temper  of 
Mrs.  Pankhurst's  methods,  but  we  recognize  the  suffrage  cause 
as  something  which  transcends  the  tactics  of  the  militants.  In 
the  same  way  it  can  be  said  for  Haywood  and  his  following  that 
they  have  sounded  the  needs  of  common  labor  and  held  up  hope 
for  its  rank  and  file  with  greater  statesmanship,  sympathy,  and 
structural  vision  than  all  the  employers  and  craft  unions  put 
together.  At  such  a  juncture  the  ordinary  American  may  well 
ask  himself  if  a  general  upheaval  of  society  is  the  sole  way  open 
in  which  the  evils  of  unskilled,  low-paid  labor  can  be  mastered 
by  a  resourceful  people. 

The  only  recent  schemes  of  trade  organization  which  match 
the  I.  W.  W.  in  democratic  promise  are  the  protocol  agreements 
in  the  women's  garment  trades  in  New  York.  These  are  open  to 
all  workmen  in  the  trades ;  they  stand  for  minimum  standards, 
and  they  employ  the  joint  force  of  organized  employers  and 
organized  employees,  to  whip  the  black-sheep  shop  into  line. 
Yet  as  I  see  it,  here  again  the  pressure  of  immigration  is  a  twofold 
threat  to  the  permanence  of  these  plans  —  the  competition  with 
New  York  by  outside  garment  centers  where  immigrants  can 
be  exploited  without  let  or  hindrance;  and  the  retardation  of 
wage  advances  at  New  York  due  to  the  glut  of  immigrant  labor 
at  the  great  port. 

So  much  for  voluntary  action.  What  has  the  state  done  to 
throw  social  control  over  common  labor?  Very  little.  Child 
labor  legislation  staves  off  a  season  or  two  the  inflow  of  immature 
workers  into  the  unskilled  labor  market.  Laws  prohibiting  the 
night  work  of  women  have  eased  the  sex-competition  for  jobs 
at  some  few  points.  As  already  stated,  minimum  wage  legis- 
lation has  been  limited  to  date  to  women  and  children.  When  by 
indirection  the  new  54  hour  law  for  women  tended  to  raise  pay 
for  both  men  and  women  in  the  mills  of  Lawrence,  the  manu- 
facturers risked  the  great  strike  rather  than  raise  it.  Political 


advantage  has  led  city  administrations  to  pay  common  labor 
more  than  private  employers,  but  in  general  the  public  has  done  ) 
nothing  to  control  the  wages  of  common  labor. 

The  measure  calculated  to  affect  them  most  markedly  has  been 
the  immigration  restriction  legislation  which  passed  both  houses 
of  Congress  at  the  last  session,  but  which  was  vetoed  by  the 

The  immigrant  commission  held  that  to  check  the  oversupply 
of  unskilled  labor  a  sufficient  number  of  immigrants  should  be  J 
debarred  to  produce  a  marked  effect.   This  was  their  major  / 
recommendation,  and  as  the  most  feasible  method  to  carry  it  out  ^ 
they  favored  the  exclusion  of  all  those  unable  to  read  and  write 
some  language. 

As  a  quantitative  check  this  literacy  test  can  be  successfully 
defended.  It  will  unquestionably  shut  out  large  numbers  of 
immigrants  and  that  reduction  in  the  gross  number  of  job- 
hunters  could  scarcely  fail  to  raise  common  labor  pay  and  im- 
prove conditions  of  life  at  the  lowest  levels. 
^  As  a  selective  method  the  literacy  test  has  been  sharply  and  I 
think  successfully  challenged.  The  people  let  in  and  those  shut 
out  could  not  be  confidently  described,  the  one  group  as  desirable, 
the  other  as  not. 

As  an  obstruction  to  the  political  and  religious  refugees,  who  in 
addition  to  their  other  oppressions  have  been  deprived  of  school- 
ing, the  literacy  test  arouses  the  opposition  of  social  and  liberty- 
loving  groups  on  all  hands.  On  this  rock  restriction  legislation 
split  on  the  last  Congress,  as  it  has  split  for  years  past. 

In  its  failure,  in  the  failure  of  any  other  proposal  to  materially 
improve  common  labor  standards  I  venture  to  put  forward  a 
plan  which  has  not  been  combated  in  any  quarter  in  ways 
convincing  to  me  either  as  to  its  illogic  or  its  impracticability. 

My  plea  is  to  apply  the  principle  of  child  labor  legislation  to  our 
industrial  immigration  —  to  draft  into  our  immigration  law  the 
provision  that  no  immigrant  who  arrives  here  after  a  specified 
date  shall  be  permitted  to  hire  out  to  a  corporate  employer  for 
less  than  a  living  wage  —  say  $2.50  or  $3  a  day  —  until  five  years 
are  elapsed  and  he  has  become  a  naturalized  citizen.  When  he 
is  a  voter,  he  can  sell  his  American  work-right  for  a  song  if  he 
must  and  will,  but  until  then  he  shall  not  barter  it  away  for  less 



than  the  minimum  cash  price,  which  shall/ be  determined  as  a 
subsistence  basis  for  American  family  livelihood.  I  would  make 
this  provision  apply  also  to  all  immigrants  now  resident  in  the 
United  States  who  have  not  filed  notice  of  their  intention  of 
becoming  citizens  by  the  date  specified. 

It  would  not  be  the  intent  or  result  of  such  legislation  to  pay 
new-coming  foreigners  $3  a  day.  No  corporation  could  hire 
Angelo  Lucca  and  Alexis  Spivak  for  $3  as  long  as  they  could  get 
John  Smith  and  Michael  Murphy  and  Carl  Sneider  for  less.  It 
would  be  the  intent  and  result  of  such  legislation  to  exclude 
Lucca  and  Spivak  and  other  "greeners"  from  our  congregate 
industries,  which  beckon  to  them  now.  It  would  leave  village 
and  farming  country  open  to  them  as  now.  And  meanwhile  as 
the  available  unskilled  labor  supply  fell  off  in  our  factory  centers, 
the  wages  paid  Smith,  Murphy,  Sneider  and  the  rest  of  our  resi- 
dent unskilled  labor  would  creep  up  toward  the  federal  minimum. 

First  a  word  as  to  the  constitutionality  of  such  a  plan.  It 
would  be  an  interference  with  the  freedom  of  contract ;  but  that 
contract  would  lie  between  an  alien  and  a  corporation,  between 
a  non-citizen  and  a  creature  of  the  state.  I  have  the  advice  of 
constitutional  lawyers  that  so  far  as  the  alien  workman  goes,  the 
plan  would  hold  as  an  extension  of  our  laws  regulating  immigra- 
tion. On  the  other  hand,  the  corporation  tax  laws  afford  a 
precedent  for  setting  off  the  corporate  employer  and  regulating 
his  dealings.  Recent  decisions  of  the  supreme  court  would 
seem  to  make  it  clear  that  such  a  law  could  be  drafted  under  the 
interstate  commerce  clause  of  the  constitution. 

For  three  special  reasons  my  belief  is  that  the  general  enforce- 
ment of  such  a  law  would  be  comparatively  simple.  Sworn  state- 
ments as  to  wage  payments  could  be  added  to  the  data  now 
required  from  corporations  under  the  federal  tax  law.  This  would 
be  an  end  desirable  in  itself  and  of  as  great  public  importance 
as  crop  reports.  In  the  second  place,  every  resident  worker  would 
report  every  violation  that  affected  his  self-interest  or  threatened 
his  job.  For  my  third  reason,  I  would  turn  to  no  less  a  counsel 
than  Mark  Twain's  "Pudd'n  Head  Wilson,"  and  with  employ- 
ment report  cards  and  half  a  dozen  clerks  in  a  central  office  in 
Washington,  could  keep  tab  on  the  whole  situation  by  means  of 
finger  prints.  Finger  prints  could  be  taken  of  each  immigrant 


on  entry ;  they  could  be  duplicated  at  mill  gate  and  mine  entry 
by  the  employer,  filed  and  compared  rapidly  at  the  Washington 

As  compared  with  joint  minimum  wage  boards  affecting  men 
and  women  alike,  as  do  those  of  Australia  and  England,  the 
plan  would  have  the  disadvantage  of  not  being  democratic. 
The  workers  themselves  would  not  take  part  in  its  administration. 
But  such  boards  might  well  develop  among  resident  unskilled 
labor,  once  the  congestion  of  immigrant  labor  was  relieved. 
And 'the  plan  would  have  the  signal  advantage  of  being  national, 
so  that  progressive  commonwealths  need  not  penalize  their 
manufacturers  in  competing  with  laggard  states. 

As  compared  with  the  literacy  test  the  plan  would  not  shut 
America  off  as  a  haven  of  refuge  and  would  not,  while  it  was 
under  discussion,  range  the  racial  societies  and  the  international- 
ists alongside  the  steamship  companies  and  the  exploiters  of 
immigrant  labor.  And  it  would  have  an  even  more  profound 
influence  on  our  conditions  of  life  and  labor. 

What  then  are  the  positive  goods  to  be  expected  from  such  a 
program  ? 

1 .  It  would,  to  my  mind,  gradually  but  irresistibly  cut  down 
the  common  labor  supply  in  our  industrial  centers. 

2.  Once  the  unlimited  supply  of  green  labor  was  lessened  in 
these  industrial  centers,  a  new  and  more  normal  equilibrium 
would  be  struck  between  common  labor  and  the  wages  of  com- 
mon labor.    Now  it  is  like  selling  potatoes  when   everybody's 
bin  is  full. 

3.  It  would  tend  to  stave  off  further  congestion  in  the  centers 
of  industrial  employment  and  give  us  a  breathing  spell  to  conquer 
our  housing  problems  and  seat  our  school-children. 

4.  It  should  shunt  increasing  numbers  of  immigrants  to  the 
rural  districts  and  stimulate  patriotic  societies  to  settle  their 
fellow-countrymen  on  the  land. 

5.  It  would  tend  to  cut  down  the  accident  rate  in  industries 
where  greeners  endanger  the  lives  of  their  fellows. 

6.  It  would  cut  down  the  crowd  of  men  waiting  for  jobs  at 
mill  gate  and  street  corner,  correspondingly  spread  out  rush  and 
seasonal  work,  and  help  along  toward  that  time  when  a  man's 
vocation  will  mean  a  year-long  income  for  him. 


7.  It  would  give  resident  labor  in  the  cities  a  chance  to 
organize  at  the  lower  levels  and  develop  the  discipline  of  self- 
government  instead  of  mob  action. 

8.  It  would  put  a  new  and  constructive  pressure  on  employers 
to  cut  down  by  invention  the  bulk  of  unskilled  occupations,  the 
most  wasteful  and  humanly  destructive  of  all  work. 

9.  It  would  bring  about  a  fair  living,  a  household  wage,  in 
such  routine  and  semi-skilled  occupations  as  remained. 

10.   It  would  tend  to  change  mining  settlements  and  mill 
towns  from  sleeping  and  feeding  quarters  into  communities. 



THE  present  year  has  witnessed  an  immigration  to  this 
country  greater  than  any  that  has  ever  occurred  in  the 
history  of  any  nation.  During  the  year  ending  June  30,  1903, 
857,000  people  from  various  parts  of  the  world  landed  at  the 
ports  of  the  United  States  and  either  settled  in  the  seaboard 
cities  or  made  their  way  into  the  interior.  At  no  time  in  the 
history  of  the  world  has  a  movement  of  such  stupendous  pro- 
portions taken  place.  The  immigrants  to  this  country  in  the 
single  year  1903  were  probably  much  in  excess  of  the  total 
number  of  arrivals  in  the  present  territory  of  the  United  States 
during  the  two  centuries  from  1607  to  1820. 

The  movement  of  immigrants  from  Europe  to  the  United 
States  during  the  last  three  generations  has  dwarfed  by  com- 
parison all  former  movements  of  populations.  During  this  period 
over  twenty  million  immigrants  have  landed  on  these  shores. 
These  men,  hailing  from  all  the  countries  of  Europe  and  of  the 
world,  have  peopled  the  vast  territory  of  the  United  States, 
have  intermarried  with  one  another  and  with  the  native  stock, 
and  have  formed  the  American  nation  as  it  exists  to-day.  In 
the  cities  of  our  seaboard,  in  the  Middle  West,  on  the  trans- 
Mississippi  prairies,  and  throughout  the  broad  expanse  of  our 
Northwest,  in  almost  every  state  north  of  Mason  and  Dixon's 
line,  and  extending  from  the  Atlantic,  to  the  Pacific,  large  sections 
of  the  population  are  either  foreign-born  or  the  children  of 
immigrants.  In  the  year  1900  there  were  over  ten  million  persons 
in  the  United  States  of  foreign  birth  and  over  twenty-six  million 
of  foreign  birth  or  foreign  parentage.  About  two  fifths  of  all 
the  white  inhabitants  of  the  United  States  are  the  sons  or 
daughters  of  parents  one  or  both  of  whom  are  foreign-born. 
These  immigrants  and  children  of  immigrants  represent  some  of 
the  best  elements  in  the  American  population,  and  the  American 



citizens  of  foreign  birth  and  parentage  are,  on  an  average,  as 
patriotic,  as  loyal,  and  as  valuable  citizens  as  those  of  native 

The  tide  of  immigration  to  the  United  States  has  had  many  ebbs 
and  flows.  Immigration  has  steadily  increased,  reaching  a 
maximum  point  in  periods  of  prosperity  and  falling  off  greatly 
in  periods  of  depression.  In  the  year  1854  immigration  reached 
a  high  water  mark  with  the  arrival  of  428,000,  and  in  1882 
789,000  landed.  This  point  was  not  again  reached  until  the 
present  year,  1903,  when  857,000  immigrants  arrived. 

Within  the  last  two  decades  a  change  has  taken  place  in  the 
character  of  immigration,  which  in  the  eyes  of  many  people 
portends  evil  for  American  workmen.  In  the  early  years  of 
immigration,  when  it  was  difficult,  if  not  actually  dangerous,  to 
come  to  the  United  States,  there  was  a  natural  selection  of  the 
best  and  hardiest  inhabitants  of  the  old  world,  men  willing 
to  risk  'their  all  in  going  to  a  new  country.  The  greater  ease  and 
cheapness  of  transportation  have  now  given  a  stimulus  to  large 
classes  of  persons  who  in  former  years  could  not  have  come.  The 
cost  of  transportation  and  the  time  required  have,  upon  the 
whole,  been  reduced,  and  the  sources  of  immigration  have  also 
shifted.  Formerly,  the  great  majority  of  immigrants  came  from 
England,  Ireland,  Germany,  and  the  Scandinavian  countries, 
from  countries,  in  other  words,  where  conditions  of  life  and  labor 
were,  to  some  extent,  comparable  to  those  of  the  United  States. 
At  the  present  time,  the  source  of  immigration  has  shifted  from 
northern  and  western  to  eastern  and  southern  Europe,  and  from 
men  with  a  higher  to  men  with  a  lower  standard  of  living.  I 
do  not  desire  to  state  that  the  moral  character  and  mental 
capacity  of  the  new  immigrants  are  lower  than,  those  of  the  im- 
migrants of  former  days ;  but  it  is  quite  clear  that  the  standard 
of  living  has  been  reduced  in  consequence  of  the  change  in  the 
source  of  immigration  from  countries  in  which  wages  are  high 
to  countries  in  which  wages  are  low.  The  amount  of  money 
which  the  average  immigrant  brings  with  him  has  steadily  de- 
creased, and  the  immigrant  from  southern  and  eastern  countries 
has,  at  the  start,  a  smaller  sum  to  protect  him  from  starvation 
or  the  sweatshop  than  has  the  immigrant  from  northern  or 
western  Europe.  The  illiteracy  of  the  immigrant  has  also  become 


more  pronounced.  This  illiteracy,  amounting  in  some  cases 
from  sixty-five  to  seventy-five  per  cent,  debars  the  newly  arrived 
immigrant  from  many  trades,  makes  it  more  difficult  for  him  to 
adapt  himself  to  American  conditions  and  American  manners  of 
thought,  and  renders  it  almost  inevitable  that  he  fall  into  the 
hands  of  the  sweater  and  exploiter.  The  efforts  made  by  steam- 
ship companies  to  incite  and  overstimulate  the  immigration  of 
thousands  of  illiterate  peasants  tend  to  inject  unnaturally  into  the 
American  labor  market  a  body  of  men  unskilled,  untrained,  and 
unable  to  resist  oppression  and  reduced  wages. 

The  practically  unrestricted  immigration  of  the  present  day 
is  an  injustice  both  to  the  American  workingman,  whether  native 
or  foreign-born,  and  to  the  newly  landed  immigrant  himself. 
As  a  result  of  this  practically  unrestricted  and  unregulated 
immigration,  the  congestion  of  our  large  cities  is  so  intense  as 
to  create  abnormally  unhealthy  conditions.  In  New  York, 
which  has  at  present  a  foreign-born  population  of  over  one  and 
one  quarter  millions,  the  congestion  has  resulted  in  the  erection  of 
enormous  tenement  buildings,  in  the  fearful  overcrowding  of  the 
slums,  and  in  the  normal  presence  of  an  oversupply  of  unskilled 
labor.  The  arrival  in  great  numbers  of  immigrants  without 
knowledge  of  English,  without  the  ability  to  read  or  write  the 
language  of  their  own  country,  without  money,  and  sometimes 
without  friends,  renders  it  inevitable  that  they  accept  the  first 
work  offered  them.  The  average  immigrant  from  eastern  'and 
southern  Europe  brings  with  him  from  eight  to  ten  dollars, 
which  is  about  the  railroad  fare  from  New  York  to  Pittsburg  and 
is  hardly  sufficient  to  support  him  for  two  weeks.  It  is  inevitable, 
also,  that  he  remain  where  he  lands  and  take  the  work  offered 
him  on  the  spot.  The  result  is  a  supply  of  labor  in  the  large 
cities  in  excess  of  a  healthy  demand,  and  a  consequent  lowering 
of  wages,  not  only  in  the  cities  in  which  the  immigrants  remain, 
but  in  those  in  which  the  articles  are  produced  that  compete  with 
the  sweatshop  products. 

From  the  point  of  view  of  the  great  employers  of  labor  there 
is  an  apparent  advantage  in  keeping  the  doors  wide  open.  The 
great  manufacturers  of  the  country,  while  anxious  to  shut  out 
the  products  of  the  pauper  labor  of  Europe,  desire  to  have  as 
much  cheap  labor  within  their  own  factories  as  possible.  The 

258  .  EFFECTS 

great  mine  owners  have  eagerly  taken  advantage  of  the  ever 
flowing  current  of  low-priced  labor,  not  only  to  reduce  wages, 
but  to  hold  this  reserve  army  of  unskilled  workers  as  a  cTulTOver 
the  head  of  the  great  mass  of  employees.  The  immigrant  who 
comes  here  in  the  hope  of  bettering  his  condition,  is  subjected 
to  the  exhausting  work  of  the  sweatshop,  is  forced  to  toil  ex- 
cessively long  hours  under  unsanitary  conditions,  or  is  compelled 
to  perform  work  under  the  padrone  system,  and  is  liable  to  be 
exploited  and  defrauded  in  many  ways.  The  apprenticeship  of 
the  newly  arrived  immigrant  is  hard  indeed,  but  it  could  very 
well  be  remedied  if  the  state  should  so  regulate  immigration  as 
to  enable  the  newcomer  to  protect  himself  from  extortion  and 

The  extent  to  which  immigration,  if  unrestricted,  might  go 
was  foreshadowed  by  the  influx  of  Chinese  which  began  about  a 
generation  ago.  For  a  number  of  years  the  doors  of  the  United 
States  were  thrown  wide  open  to  the  importation  of  immigrants, 
practically,  if  not  legally,  under  contract,  from  a  country  with  a 
population  of  four  hundred  millions.  The  result  of  this  immigra- 
tion was  seen  in  a  reduction  of  the  wages  of  labor  upon  the 
Pacific  coast ;  and  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  the  admission  of 
Chinese,  if  unchecked,  would  have  resulted  in  the  creation  of 
an  enormous  Mongolian  population  in  our  West  and  the  practical 
industrial  subjugation  of  that  portion  of  the  country  by  the 
Chinese.  It  is  a  well-known  fact  that  the  cheaper  worker,  when 
he  is  able  to  compete  tends  to  drive  out  the  better,  just  as  in  the 
currency  of  a  nation,  bad  money  will  drive  out  good  money. 
Through  the  activity  of  the  trade-unions,  however,  the  Chinese 
were,  in  1882,  excluded  and  in  1902  this  law  was  reenacted. 

The  trade-unions  also  secured,  in  the  year  1885,  the  enactment 
of  a  law  rendering  illegal  the  importation  of  workmen  under 
contract.  Formerly,  in  the  case  of  a  strike,  the  employer  was 
able  to  contract  for  the  importation  of  large  numbers  of  foreigners, 
who,  with  lower  ideals  and  without  any  knowledge  of  American 
trade-unionism,  took  the  places  of  the  strikers  and  effectually 
aided  the  employer.  The  trade-unions  have  also  been  energetic 
in  their  attempts  to  secure  a  further  regulation  of  the  conditions 
of  immigration  in  such  a  manner  that  both  the  present 
inhabitants  of  the  United  States  and  the  immigrants  who  come 


will  be  in  a  better  position  to  resist  exploitation  by  employers 
in  the  sweated  or  unskilled  trades. 

The  attitude  of  trade-unionists  upon  this  question  favors  not  * 
prohibition,  but  regulation.   The  trade-unions  do  not  desire  to  i 
keep  out  immigrants,  but  to  raise  the  character  and  the  power  of  I 
resistance  of  those  who  do  come.   There  is  no  racial  or  religious  \ 
animosity  in  this  attitude  of  unionists.   The  American  trade- 
unionist  does  not  object  to  the  immigration  of  men  of  a  high 
standard  of  living,  whether  they  be  Turks,  Russians,  or  Chinese, 
Catholics,  Protestants,  or  Jews,  Mohammedans,  Buddhists,  or 
Confucians,  whether  they  be  yellow,  white,  red,  brown,  or  black. 
In  certain  cases,  as  in  that  of  the  Chinese,  it  was  absolutely 
essential  to  the  success  of  the  law  that  it  discriminate  against 
the  whole  nation,  but  the  attitude  of  the  unionist  was  not  hos- 
tility to  the  Chinaman,  but  a  determination  to  resist  the  immi-" 
gration  of  men  with  a  low  standard,  of  living. 

The  trade-unionist  believes  that  the  policy  of  regulating  immi- 
gration is  justifiable  on  both  ethical  and  economic  grounds. 
It  is  admitted  that  the  immigration  of  the  past  has  to  a  large 
extent  and  for  a  long  period  benefited  the  American  working- 
man.  Especially  was  this  true  during  the  period  before  the 
public  domain  was  exhausted,  when  men  could  secure  a  home- 
stead for  the  asking.  The  trade-unionist  also  realizes  that  a  large 
percentage  of  the  most  worthy  citizens,  and  probably  a  majority 
of  the  white  manual  laborers  of  the  United  States,  are  either 
foreigners  or  sons  of  foreigners.  The  American  unionist  sym- 
pathizes with  the  oppressed  workingmen  of  foreign  countries 
and  feels  that  everything  should  be  done  to  ameliorate  their 
condition,  provided  it  does  not  hinder  the  progress  of  the  nation 
and  the  welfare  of  the  human  race.  Cosmopolitanism,  like 
charity,  begins  at  home.  The  American  people  should  not  sacri-  1 
fice  the  future  of  the  working  classes  in  order  to  improve  the  con-  I 
ditions  of  the  inhabitants  of  Europe,  and  it  is  even  questionable  j 
whether  an  unregulated  immigration  would  improve  the  condi- 
tions of  Europe  and  Asia,  although  it  is  certain  that  it  would 
injure  and  degrade  the  conditions  of  labor  in  this  country. 

This  point  might  be  illustrated  by  the  supposition  of  an 
unrestricted  immigration  from  China.  That  country  has  a 
population  of  about  four  hundred  millions  and  a  probable  birth 



rate  of  about  twelve  millions  a  year.  It  is  quite  conceivable  with 
unrestricted  immigration  and  with  the  cheapening  of  fares  from 
Hong  Kong  to  San  Francisco  that  within  fifty  or  a  hundred  years 
a  third  of  the  people  of  the  United  States  could  be  Chinese, 
without  in  any  way  reducing  the  population  of  China.  The 
creation  of  an  outlet  for  a  million  or  two  millions  of  Chinese 
immigrants  each  year  would  merely  have  the  effect  of  increasing 
the  birth  rate  in  that  country,  with  the  result  that  within  a 
century  a  majority  of  the  working  people  of  this  country  would 
be  Chinese,  while  the  congestion  of  population  in  the  Celestial 
empire  would  be  as  great  and  as  unrelieved  as  ever.  To  a  large 
extent  the  progress  of  nations  can  best  be  secured  by  the~pblTcy 
of  seclusion  and  isolation.  By  means  of  barriers  which  regulate, 
but  do  not  prohibit,  immigration,  the  various  countries  of  Europe 
if  and  America  can  individually  work  out  their  salvation,  and  a 
\  permanent  increase  in  the  efficiency  and  remuneration  of  the 
workers  of  the  world  can  thus  be  obtained.  By  the  maintenance 
(  of  these  barriers  the  best  workingmen  in  each  country  can  rise 
I  to  the  top,  and  the  great  mass  of  the  workingmen  can  secure  a 
I  larger  sliare  of  the  wealth  produced.  If,  however,  it  is  within  the 
power  of  employers  to  drawTreely  upon  the  labor  of  the  world, 
while  protecting  their  products  from  the  competition  of  foreign 
manufacturers,  the  result  will  be  that  the  workingmen  of  the 
world  will  have  their  wages  reduced,  or,  at  all  events,  will  not 
have  their  remuneration  increased,  as  would  be  possible  under  a 
policy  regulating  the  importation  of  immigrants. 

The  trade-union  desires  to  regulate  immigration  partly  in 
order  to  prevent  the  temporary  glutting  of  the  market,  but  to  a 
much  greater  extent  in  order  to  raise  the  character  of  the  men 
who  enter.  The  glutting  of  the  labor  market  through  immigra- 
tion is,  I  believe,  temporary,  and  not  permanent.  It  causes  a 
temporary  oversupply  of  labor  in  the  large  cities;  a  breaking  down 
of  favorable  working  conditions,  a  disintegration  of  trade-unions, 
and  a  widespread  deterioration  and  degradation  in  large  circles 
of  the  community.  Gradually,  however,  the  market  absorbs  the 
fresh  supply  of  labor,  and  the  newly  arrived  immigrants  create 
a  demand  for  the  products  of  their  own  work.  While  this  tem- 
porary glutting  of  the  market  is  disadvantageous  and  may  result 
in  a  deterioration  of  the  caliber  of  the  workingman,  the  injury 


that  comes  from  permitting  the  inflow  of  vast  bodies  of  men  with 
lower   standards   of  living  is   infinitely  worse.   The  policy  of 
trade-unions  in  this  matter  of  immigration  is  in  perfect  harmony 
with  other  features  of  trade-union  government.   Trade-unionism/ 
seeks  not  to  restrict  the  numbers,  but  to  raise  the  quality,  off 
workingmen.   Any  one  may  become  a  bricklayer  in  New  York! 
city,  whether  there  be  a  hundred,  a  thousand,  or  five  thousand,! 
but  whosoever  enters  the  trade  as  a  unionist  must  agree  not  to) 
accept  less  than  a  certain  rate  and  must,  therefore,  be  an  efficient! 
worker  with  a  high  standard  of  life.   The  American  workingmanj 
believes  that  there  is  ample  room  in  this  country  for  all  men  who 
are  able  and  willing  to  demand  wages  commensurate  with  the 
American  standard  of  living. 

By  a  wise  policy  of  restriction  of  immigration  and  by  a  careful 
sifting  of  immigrants  according  to  their  ability  to  earn  and 
demand  high  wages,  the  country  would  secure  annually,  let  us 
say,  two  or  three  or  four  hundred  thousand  good  immigrants, 
instead  of  being  forced  to  absorb,  as  at  present,  six  or  eight  or 
ten  hundred  thousand  immigrants,  many  of  them  undesirable. 
The  result  of  this  policy  might  lead  eventually  even  to  an  actual 
increase  in  the  number  of  immigrants,  owing  to  the  fact  that  if 
there  were  a  wise  selection  of  immigrants  with  a  high  standard  of 
living,  wages  in  the  United  States  would  rise  to  a  point  which 
would  attract  the  most  capable  workmen  of  all  Europe.  A  con- 
tingency of  this  sort  would  be  looked  forward  to  with  hope  rather 
than  with  apprehension,  since  the  American  nation  need  never 
fear  the  immigration  of  Europeans  so  long  as  that  immigration 
does  not  involve  or  threaten  a  reduction  in  the  standard  of  living. 

The  competition  of  the  immigrant  with  a  low  standard  of 
living  is  felt  not  only  in  the  trade,  wherein  the  immigrant  is 
employed,  but  in  all  the  trades  of  the  country.  The  immigrant, 
with  his  low  rate  of  wages,  drives  out  of  his  trade  men  formerly 
employed  therein,  who  are  either  forced  down  in  the  scale 
of  wages  or  else  obliged  to  compete  for  work  in  higher  occupa- 
tion, where  they  again  reduce  wages.  Thifc  the  effect  of  the 
competition  of  immigrants  is  felt  not  only  in  the  unskilled,  but 
also  in  the  semi-skilled  and  skilled  trades,  and  even  in  the  pro- 
fessions. The  immigration  of  great  bodies  of  unskilled  workmen, 
moreover,  of  various  races  tends  to  promote  and  perpetuate  racial 


antagonisms,  and  these  racial  jealousies  are  played  upon  by 
employers  in  the  attempt  to  reduce  wages,  to  prevent  the  forma- 
tion of  trade-unions,  and  to  keep  the  workmen  apart. 

I  do  not  desire  in  this  book  to  outline  what  I  consider  reasonable 
measures  of  regulation  for  the  ever-rising  tide  of  immigration. 
The  American  Federation  of  Labor  has  done  excellent  work  in 
advocating  wise  measures,  and  the  work  should  be  continued 
along  these  lines.  Restriction,  however,  should  be  without 
prejudice  and  without  hatred.  It  should  be  as  much  in  the 
interest  of  the  immigrants  as  in  the  interest  of  the  American 
citizens  of  to-day,  whether  of  native  or  of  foreign  birth.  Re^ 
slriction  should  be  democratic  in  its  character,  and  should  not 
exclude  any  man  capable  of  earning  his  livelihood  in  America 
-  at  the  standard  union  rate  of  wages.  It  should  not  be  directed 
by  racial  animosity  or  religious  prejudice,  and  the  laws  that  are 
passed  should  protect  the  immigrant  from  deception  by  steam- 
ship or  employment  agents,  as  well  as  protect  the  home  popu- 
lation from  undesirable  immigrants.  The  law  should  be  so 
arranged  as  not  needlessly  to  separate  members  of  the  same 
family.  Finally,  trade-unionists  in  their  advocacy  of  immigration 
should  not  be  actuated  by  a  short-sighted  policy,  but  by  a 
consideration  of  the  probable  effect  that  such  restriction  will  have 
upon  the  future  prosperity  of  the  working  classes  or  of  Americans 
in  general. 

The  task  which  trade-unions  have  accomplished  in  securing 
and  enforcing  laws  regulating  immigration  has  been  hardly 
more  important  than  their  excellent  work  in  raising  the  tone  and 
increasing  the  efficiency  of  the  immigrant  upon  his  arrival.  More 
than  any  other  single  factor,  except  the  common  school,  the  trade- 
union  has  succeeded  in  wiping  out  racial  animosities,  in  uniting 
-jf  men  of  different  nationalities,  languages,  and  religions,  and  in 
infusing  into  the  newly  landed  immigrant  American  ideals  and 
American  aspirations.  The  United  Mine  Workers  of  America, 
for  instance,  has  had  marvelous  success  in  creating  harmony  and 
good  feeling  among*its  members,  irrespective  of  race,  religion,  or 
nationality.  The  meetings  of  the  locals  are  attended  by  members 
of  different  races  and  are  addressed  in  two,  three,  or  even  more 
languages.  The  constitution  and  by-laws  of  the  organization  are 
printed  in  nine  different  languages,  and  by  means  of  interpreters 


all  parts  of  the  body  are  kept  in  touch  with  one  another,  with 
the  result  that  a  feeling  of  mutual  respect  and  confidence  is 

In  no  other  country  have  trade-unions  had  to  face  a  problem  of 
such  enormous  difficulty  as  the  fusion  of  the  members  of  these 
various  nationalities,  crude,  unformed,  and  filled  with  old-world 
prejudices  and  antipathies.  No  higher  tribute  can  be  paid  to 
American  trade-unions  than  an  acknowledgment  of  the  magnifi- 
cent work  which  they  have  accomplished  in  this  direction  in 
obliterating  the  antagonisms  bred  in  past  centuries  and  in  creating 
out  of  a  heterogeneous  population,  brought  together  by  the  ever- 
lasting search  for  cheap  labor,  a  unified  people  with  American 
ideals  and  American  aspirations. 



AMID  all  the  diverse  views  on  the  various  aspects  of  the 
immigration  problem,  there  is  coming  to  be  a  practical 
unanimity  of  opinion  on  one  fundamental  proposition  —  namely, 
that  immigration  to-day  is  essentially  an  economic  phenomenon. 
However  strongly  the  desire  for  political  or  religious  liberty,  or 
the  escape  from  tyranny,  may  have  operated  in  the  past  to 
stimulate  emigration  from  foreign  countries,  the  one  great  motive 
of  the  present  immigrant. is  the  desire  to  better  his  economic 
situation.  Even  in  cases  where  political  and  religious  oppression 
still  persists,  it  usually  expresses  itself  through  economic  dis- 
abilities. The  great  attraction  of  the  United  States  for  the 
modern  immigrant  lies  in  the  economic  advantages  which  it 
has  to  offer.  The  latest  authoritative  recognition  of  this  fact 
is  that  given  by  the  Immigration  Commission,  which  emphasizes 
it  in  numerous  places  in  its  repqrt.  If,  then,  immigration  is  so 
closely  bound  up  with  the  industrial  situation  in  this  country, 
it  would  seem  that  there  should  be  some  relation  between  immi- 
gration and  the  industrial  depressions  or  crises  which  are  such 
a  characteristic  feature  of  our  economic  life.  It  is  the  purpose 
of  this  paper  to  seek  to  determine  what  this  relation  is.  One 
aspect  of  the  matter  is  perfectly  obvious  and  has  been  thoroughly 
recognized  for  a  long  time,  namely,  that  the  volume  of  the  immi- 
gration current  is  regulated  by  the  industrial  prosperity  of  this 
|  country.  A  period  of  good  times  brings  with  it  a  large  volume  of 
immigration,  while  hard  times  reduce  the  current  to  a  minimum. 
This  has  been  worked  out  statistically  by  Professor  John  R. 
Commons,  and  is  presented  in  graphic  form  in  a  chart  in  his 
book,  "Races  and  Immigrants  in  America."  Imports  per  capita 
are  taken  as  the  best  indication  of  prosperity  in  this  country, 

1  From  The  American  Economic  Review,  December,  1911 



and  the  curve  which  represents  this  factor  is  shown  to  be  almost 
exactly  similar  to  the  one  representing  the  number  of  immigrants 
per  10,000  population. 

Another  fact  which  is  equally  obvious,  and  which  has  been 
given  much  prominence  in  recent  years,  is  that  a  period  of  depres- 
sion in  this  country  is  followed  by  a  large  exodus  of  aliens.  The 
popular  interpretation  of  this  fact  is  that  this  emigration  move- 
ment serves  to  mitigate  the  evils  of  the  crisis  by  removing  a 
large  part  of  the  surplus  laborers,  until  returning  prosperity 
creates  a  demand  for  them  again.  The  Italian,  who  displays  the 
greatest  mobility  in  this  regard,  has  been  called  the  safety  valve 
of  our  labor  market.  Thus  the  movements  of  our  alien  popula- 
tion are  supposed  to  be  an  alleviating  force  as  regards  crises. 
How  well  this  interpretation  fits  the  facts  will  appear  later. 
Professor  Commons  takes  a  different  view  of  the  matter,  and  in 
another  chapter  of  the  book  quoted  demonstrates  how  immigra- 
tion, instead  of  helping  matters,  is  really  one  of  the  causes  of 
crises.  His  conclusion  is  that  "immigration  intensifies  this 
fatal  cycle  of  '  booms*'  and  '  depressions/  "  and  "  instead  of  increas- 
ing the  production  of  wealth  by  a  steady,  healthful  growth,  joins 
with  other  causes  to  stimulate  the  feverish  overproduction, 
with  its  inevitable  collapse,  that  has  characterized  the  industry 
of  America  more  than  that  of  any  other  country."  The  few  pages 
which  Professor  Commons  devotes  to  this  topic  are  highly  sug- 
gestive, and  so  far  as  the  present  writer  is  aware,  contain  the  best 
discussion  of  the  subject  which  has  yet  been  offered.  Professor 
Commons,  however,  at  the  time  this  book  was  written,  was  handi- 
capped by  the  lack  of  certain  data  which  have  since  become 
available.  Up  till  1907  no  official  records  were  kept  of  departing 
aliens,  and  no  exact  information  as  to  their  number  was  avail- 
able. But  beginning  with  July  of  that  year,  the  reports  of  the 
Commissioner-General  of  Immigration  have  furnished  these 
figures,  and  the  recent  reports  contain  tables  almost  as  complete 
for  departing  as  for  arriving  aliens.  Furthermore,  within  this 
period  the  United  States  has  experienced,  and  recovered  from, 
a  severe  depression,  so  that  the  material  is  at  hand  for  a  concrete 
study  of  the  matter  in  question. 

Immigrant  aliens  are  those  whose  last  permanent  residence 
has  been  in  some  foreign  country  and  who  have  come  to  the 


United  States  with  the  expressed  intention  of  residing  here 
permanently.  Nonimmigrant  aliens  are  of  two  classes :  those 
whose  last  permanent  residence  was  in  the  United  States,  but 
who  have  been  abroad  for  a  short  time,  and  those  whose  last 
permanent  residence  was  abroad,  but  who  come  to  the  United 
States  without  the  intention  of  remaining  permanently,  including 
aliens  in  transit.  Emigrant  aliens  are  those  whose  last  permanent 
residence  has  been  in  the  United  States  and  who  are  going  abroad 
with  the  intention  of  residing  there  permanently.  In  all  cases, 
the  expressed  intention  of  the  alien  is  accepted  in  regard  to 
residence,  and  an  intended  residence  of  twelve  months  consti- 
tutes a  permanent  residence  either  in  the  past  or  future.  Thus 
there  are"  six  distinct  classes  of  aliens,  coming  and  going,  and  the 
way  is  open  for  some  very  complicated  comparisons.  For  our 
present  purposes,  however,  it  is  not  necessary  to  make  these 
comparisons.  As  far  as  aliens  in  transit  are  concerned,  they 
are  counted  as  arrivals  at  the  port  of  entry,  and  as  departures 
at  the  port  of  exit,  so  that  they  cancel,  and  do  not  affect  the 
net  increase  or  decrease  of  population.  Th'ey  do  not  affect  the 
labor  market,  as  they  are  supposed  to  pass  by  a  direct  and 
continuous  journey  through  the  territory  of  the  United  States 
within  thirty  days,  otherwise  the  head  tax  is  not  refunded.  The 
other  classes  of  nonimmigrant  and  nonemigrant  aliens  should 
rightfully  be  included  in  the  table  for  the  present  study,  as  they 
affect  the  labor  market.  Particularly  those  incoming  aliens  who 
are  "nonimmigrant"  because  their  last  permanent  residence 
was  in  the  United  States,  and  those  "nonemigrant"  aliens  who 
are  such  because  they  are  leaving  the  country  only  for  a  short 
time  include,  to  a  great  extent,  just  those  individuals  in  whom 
we  are  most  interested.  The  tables  of  arrivals  and  departures 
by  months  do  not  differentiate  the  two  classes  of  nonimmigrant, 
and  the  two  classes  of  nonemigrant,  aliens,  so  that  it  is  impos- 
sible to  make  monthly  comparisons  of  these  factors.  Fortu- 
nately, as  stated  above,  it  is  not  necessary  for  our  present 
purpose ;  the  totals  of  arrivals  and  departures  of  all  classes  of 
aliens  are  a  sufficient  general  indication  of  the  movements  which 
we  wish  to  study.  A  more  detailed  examination  of  the  make- 
up of  the  stream  of  arrivals  and  departures,  by  years,  will  be 
given  later. 


Turning  then  to  the  table,  we  observe  that  the  monthly  aver- 
age of  arrivals  during  the  first  six  months  of  1907  was  a  high  one. 
Following  a  large  immigration  during  the  last  six  months  of  the 
preceding  year,  this  made  the  fiscal  year  ending  June  30,  1907, 
the  record  year  for  immigration  in  the  history  of  the  country. 
For  the  next  four  months  the  stream  of  immigration  continued 
high,  considering  the  season,  and  the  number  of  departures  was 
moderate.  Early  in  October,  however,  there  were  signs  of  dis- 
turbance in  the  New  York  Stock  Exchange.  On  the  sixteenth 
there  was  a  crash  in  the  market,  and  within  a  week  the  panic 
had  become  general.  It  reached  its  height  on  October  24,  and 
continued  for  many  weeks  after.  The  response  of  the  alien 
population  to  this  disturbance  was  almost  immediate,  and  mani- 
fested itself  first  in  the  emigration  movement.  In  November 
the  number  of  departures  almost  doubled.  But  the  immigrants 
who  were  on  the  way  could  not  be  stopped,  and  in  spite  of  the 
large  exodus,  there  was  a  net  gain  of  38,207  during  the  month. 
The  next  month,  December,  however,  saw  a  marked  decrease 
in  the  stream  of  arrivals,  which,  accompanied  by  a  departure 
of  aliens  almost  as  great  as  in  November,  resulted  in  a  net  de- 
crease in  population  of  11,325  for  the  month.  During  the  first 
six  months  of  1908  the  number  of  arrivals  was  small,  and  the 
departures  numerous,  so  that,  with  the  exception  of  March, 
each  month  shows  a  net  loss  in  population.  During  July  the 
number  of  departures  began  to  approach  the  normal  (compare 
the  months  in  1908  with  1907  and  1910),  but  the  arrivals  were 
so  few  that  there  was  still  a  decrease  for  the  months  of  July  and 
August.  In  September,  1908,  the  balance  swung  the  other  way, 
and  from  that  time  to  the  present  every  month  has  shown  a 
substantial  increase  in  population  through  the  movement  of 

Thus  we  see  that  the  period  during  which  the  number  of  alien 
laborers  in  the  United  States  was  decreasing  was  confined  to  the 
months  December,  1907,  to  August,  1908,  inclusive.  By  the  end 
of  July,  1908,  the  effects  of  the  crisis  were  practically  over  as  far 
as  departures  are  concerned.  It  is  evident,  then,  that  the  effects 
of  the  crisis  on  emigration  were  immediate,  but  not  of  very  long 
duration.  During  the  months  of  November  and  December,  1907, v 
when  the  distress  was  the  keenest,  there  were  still  large  numbers 


of  aliens  arriving.  But  when  the  stream  of  immigration  was  once 
checked,  it  remained  low  for  some  time,  and  it  was  not  until 
about  January,  1909,  that  it  returned  to  what  may  be  considered 
a  normal  figure.  The  reasons  for  this  are  obvious.  The  stream 
of  immigration  is  a  long  one,  and  its  sources  are  remote.  It  takes 
a  long  time  for  retarding  influences  in  America  to  be  thoroughly 
felt  on  the  other  side.  The  principal  agency  in  checking  immigra- 
tion at  its  source  is  the  returning  immigrant  himself,  who  brings 
personal  information  of  the  unfortunate  conditions  in  the  United 
States.  This  takes  some  time.  But  when  the  potential  immi- 
grants are  once  discouraged  as  to  the  outlook  across  the  ocean, 
they  require  some  positive  assurance  of  better  times  before  they 
will  start  out  again. 

Now  what  catches  the  public  eye  in  such  an  epoch  as  this,  is 
the  large  number  of  departures.  We  are  accustomed  to  immense 
numbers  of  arrivals  and  we  think  little  about  that  side  of  it.  But 
heavy  emigration  is  a  phenomenon,  and  accordingly  we  hear 
much  about  how  acceptably  our  alien  population  serves  to  accom- 
modate the  supply  of  labor  to  the  demand.  But  if  we  stop  to  add 
up  the  monthly  figures,  we  find  that  for  the  entire  period  after 
the  crisis  of  1907,  when  emigration  exceeded  immigration,  the 
total  decrease  in  alien  population  was  only  124,124  —  scarcely 
equal  to  the  immigration  of  a  single  month  during  a  fairly  busy 
season.  This  figure  is  almost  infinitesimal  compared  to  the  total 
mass  of  the  American  working  people,  or  to  the  amount  of  unem- 
ployment at  a  normal  time,  to  say  nothing  of  a  crisis.  It  is  thus 
evident  that  the  importance  of  our  alien  population  as  an  alleviat- 
ing force  at  the  time  of  a  crisis  has  been  vastly  exaggerated. 
The  most  that  can  be  said  for  it  is  that  it  has  a  very  trifling 
palliative  effect. 

The  really  important  relation  between  immigration  and  crises 
is  much  less  conspicuous  but  much  more  far-reaching.  It  rests 
upon  the  nature  and  underlying  causes  of  crises  in  this  country. 
These  are  fairly  well  understood  at  the  present  time.  A  typical 
crisis  may  be  said  to  be  caused  by  speculative  overproduction, 
or  overspeculative  production.  Some  prefer  to  call  the  trouble 
underconsumption,  which  is  much  the  same  thing  looked  at 
from  another  point  of  view.  Professor  Irving  Fisher  has  furnished 
a  convenient  and  logical  outline  of  the  ordinary  course  of  affairs. 


In  a  normal  business  period  some  slight  disturbance,  such  as  an 
increase  in  the  quantity  of  gold,  causes  prices  to  rise.  A  rise  in 
prices  is  accompanied  by  increased  profits  for  business  men,  be- 
cause the  rate  of  interest  on  the  borrowed  capital  which  they  use 
in  their  business  fails  to  increase  at  a  corresponding  ratio.  If 
prices  are  rising  at  the  rate  of  two  per  cent  annually,  a  nominal 
rate  of  interest  of  six  per  cent  is  equivalent  to  an  actual  rate  of 
only  about  four  per  cent.  Hence,  doing  business  on  borrowed 
capital  becomes  very  profitable,  and  there  is  an  increased  demand 
for  loans. 

This  results  in  an  increase  of  the  deposit  currency,  which  is 
accompanied  by  a  further  rise  in  prices.  The  nominal  rate  of 
interest  rises  somewhat,  but  not  sufficiently,  and  prices  tend  to 
outstrip  it  still  further.  Thus  the  process  is  repeated,  until  the 
large  profits  of  business  lead  to  a  disproportionate  production  of 
goods  for  anticipated  future  demand,  and  a  vast  overextension 
of  credit.  But  this  cycle  cannot  repeat  itself  indefinitely.  Though 
the  rate  of  interest  rises  tardily,  it  rises  progressively,  and  even- 
tually catches  up  with  the  rise  in  prices,  owing  to  the  necessity 
which  banks  feel  of  maintaining  a  reasonable  ratio  between  loans 
and  reserves.  Other  causes  operate  with  this  to  produce  the 
same  result.  The  consequence  is  that  business  men  find  them- 
selves unable  to  renew  their  loans  at  the  old  rate,  and  hence 
some  of  them  are  unable  to  meet  their  obligations,  and  fail. 
The  failure  of  a  few  firms  dispels  the  atmosphere  of  public  confi- 
dence which  is  essential  to  extended  credit.  Creditors  begin  to 
demand  cash  payment  for  their  loans ;  there  is  a  growing  demand 
for  currency;  the  rate  of  interest  soars;  and  the  old  familiar 
symptoms  of  a  panic  appear.  In  this  entire  process  the  blame 
falls,  according  to  Professor  Fisher,  primarily  upon  the  failure 
of  the  rate  of  interest  to  rise  promptly  in  proportion  to  the  rise 
in  prices.  If  the  forces  which  give  inertia  to  the  rate  of  interest 
were  removed,  so  that  the  rate  of  interest  would  fluctuate  readily 
with  prices,  the  great  temptation  to  expand  business  unduly 
during  a  period  of  rising  prices  would  be  removed.  It  may  well 
be  conceived  that  there  are  other  factors,  besides  the  discrepancy 
between  the  nominal  and  real  rates  of  interest,  that  give  to 
business  a  temporary  or  specious  profitableness,  and  tend  to 
encourage  speculative  overproduction.  But  the  influence  of  the 


rate  of  interest  resembles  so  closely  that  resulting  from  immi- 
gration, that  Professor  Fisher's  explanation  is  of  especial  service 
in  the  present  discussion. 

The  rate  of  interest  represents  the  payment  which  the  entre- 
preneur makes  for  one  of  the  great  factors  of  production  - 
capital.  The  failure  of  this  remuneration  to  keep  pace  with  the 
price  of  commodities  in  general  leads  to  excessive  profits  and 
overproduction.  The  payment  which  the  entrepreneur  makes 
for  one  of  the  other  factors  of  production  —  labor  —  is  repre- 
sented by  wages.  If  wages  fail  to  rise  valong  with  prices  the  effect 
on  business,  while  not  strictly  analogous,  is  very  similar  to  that 
produced  by  the  slowly  rising  rate  of  interest.  The  entrepreneur 
is  relieved  of  the  necessity  of  sharing  any  of  his  excessive  profits 
with  labor,  just  as  in  the  other  case  he  is  relieved  from  sharing 
them  with  capital.  It  would  probably  be  hard  to  prove  that  the 
increased  demand  for  labor  results  in  further  raising  prices  in 
general,  as  an  increased  demand  for  capital  results  in  raising 
prices  by  increasing  the  deposit  currency.  But  if  the  demand 
for  labor  results  in  increasing  the  number  of  laborers  in  the 
country,  thereby  increasing  the  demand  for  commodities,  it 
may  very  well  result  in  raising  the  prices  of  commodities  as 
distinguished  from  labor,  which  is  just  as  satisfactory  to  the 
entrepreneur.  This  is  exactly  what  is  accomplished  when  un- 
limited immigration  is  allowed.  As  soon  as  the  conditions  of 
business  produce  an  increased  demand  for  labor,  this  demand 
is  met  by  an  increased  number  of  laborers,  produced  by  immi- 

In  the  preceding  paragraph  it  has  been  assumed  that  wages 
do  not  rise  with  prices.  The  great  question  is,  is  this  true  ?  This 
is  a  question  very  difficult  of  answer.  There  is  a  very  general 
impression  that  during  the  last  few  years  prices  have  seriously 
outstripped  wages.  Thus  Professor  Ely  says,  "  Wages  do  not 
usually  rise  as  rapidly  as  prices  in  periods  of  business  expansion." 
R.  B.  Brinsmade  stated  in  a  discussion  at  the  last  meeting  of 
the  American  Economic  Association  that  "our  recent  great  rise 
of  prices  is  acknowledged  to  be  equivalent  to  a  marked  reduction 
in  general  wages."  Whether  this  idea  is  correct,  and  if  correct, 
whether  this  effect  had  transpired  in  the  years  immediately 
previous  to  1907,  cannot  be  definitely  stated.  The  index 


numbers  of  wages  and  prices  given  in  the -Statistical  Abstract  of 
the  United  States,  for  1909  (p.  249),  seem  to  show  that  during 
the  years  1895  to  1907  money  wages  increased  about  pari  passu 
with  the  retail  prices  of  food,  so  that  the  purchasing  power  of 
the  full-time  weekly  earnings  remained  nearly  constant. 

But  whether  or  not  money  wages  rose  as  fast  as  prices  in  the 
years  from  1900  to  1907,  one  thing  is  certain,  they  did  not  rise 
any  faster.  That  is  to  say,  if  real  wages  did  not  actually  fall, 
they  assuredly  did  not  rise.  But  the  welfare  of  the  country 
requires  that,  in  the  years  when  business  is  moving  toward  a 
crisis,  wages  should  rise ;  not  only  money  wages,  but  real  wages. 
What  is  needed  is  some  check  on  the  unwarranted  activity  of  the 
entrepreneurs,  which  will  make  them  stop  and  consider  whether 
the  apparently  bright  business  outlook  rests  on  sound  and  per- 
manent conditions,  or  is  illusory  and  transient.  If  their  large 
profits  are  legitimate  and  enduring,  they  should  be  forced  to 
share  a  part  of  them  with  the  laborer.  If  not,  the  fact  should 
be  impressed  upon  them.  We  have  seen  that  the  rate  of  interest 
fails  to  act  as  an  efficient  check.  Then  the  rate  of  wages  should 
do  it.  And  if  the  entrepreneurs  were  compelled  to  rely  on  the 
existing  labor  supply  in  their  own  country,  the  rate  of  wages 
would  do  it.  Business  expands  by  increasing  the  amount  of  labor 
utilized,  as  well  as  the  amount  of  capital.  If  the  increased  labor 
supply  could  be  secured  only  from  the  people  already  resident 
in  the  country,  the  increased  demand  would  have  to  express  itself 
in  an  increased  wage,  and  the  entrepreneur  would  be  forced  to 
pause  and  reflect.  .But  in  the  -United  States  we  have  adopted 
the  opposite  policy.  In  the  vast  peasant  population  of  Europe 
there  is  an  inexhaustible  reservoir  of  labor,  only  waiting  a  signal 
from  this  side  to  enter  the  labor  market  —  to  enter  it,  not  with  a 
demand  for  the  high  wage  that  the  business  situation  justifies, 
but  ready  to  take  any  wage  that  will  be  offered,  just  so  it  is  a 
little  higher  than  the  pittance  to  which  they  are  accustomed  at 
home.  And  we  allow  them  to  come,  without  any  restrictions 
whatever  as  to  numbers.  Thus  wages  are  kept  from  rising,  and 
immigration  becomes  a  powerful  factor,  tending  to  intensify 
and  augment  the  unhealthy,  oscillatory  character  of  our  indus- 
trial life.  It  was  not  by  mere  chance  that  the  panic  year  of 
1907  was  the  record  year  in  immigration. 



Against  this  point  of  view  it  may  be  argued  that  the  legitimate 
expansion  of  business  in  this  country  requires  the  presence  of 
the  immigrant.  But  if  business  expansion  is  legitimate  and  per- 
manent, resting  on  lasting  favorable  conditions,  it  will  express 
itself  in  a  high  wage  scale,  persisting  over  a  long  period  of  time. 
And  the  demand  so  expressed  will  be  met  by  an  increase  of  native 
offspring,  whose  parents  are  reaping  the  benefit  of  the  high 
standard  of  living.  A  permanent  shortage  of  the  labor  supply 
is  as  abhorrent  to  Nature  as  a  vacuum.  Expansion  of  any  other 
kind  than  this  ought  to  be  hampered,  not  gratified. 

There  is  one  other  way  in  which  immigration,  as  it  exists  at 
present,  influences  crises.  In  considering  this,  it  will  be  well  to 
regard  the  crisis  from  the  other  point  of  view  —  as  a  phenomenon 
of  underconsumption.  Practically  all  production  at  the  present 
day  is  to  supply  an  anticipated  future  demand.  There  can  be 
no  overproduction  unless  the  actual  demand  fails  to  equal  that 
anticipated.  This  is  underconsumption.  Now  the  great  mass 
of  consumers  in  the  United  States  is  composed  of  wage  earners. 
Their  consuming  power  depends  upon  their  wages.  In  s^  far 
as  immigration  lowers  wages  in  the  United  States,  or  prevents 
them  from  rising,  it  reduces  consuming  power,  and  hence  is 
favorable  to  the  recurrence  of  periods  of  underconsumption. 
It  is  not  probable,  to  be  sure,  that  a  high  wage  scale  in  itself 
could  prevent  crises,  as  the  entrepreneurs  would  base  their  cal- 
culations on  the  corresponding  consuming  power,  just  as  they 
do  at  present.  But  a  high  wage  scale  carries  with  it  the  possibility 
of  saving,  and  an  increase  of  accumulations  among  the  common 
people.  It  is  estimated  at  the  present  time  that  half  of  the 
industrial  people  of  the  United  States  are  unable  to  save  any- 
thing. This  increase  in  saving  would  almost  inevitably  have 
some  effect  upon  the  results  of  crises,  though  it  must  be  confessed 
that  it  is  very  difficult  to  predict  just  what  this  effect  would 
be.  One  result  that  might  naturally  be  expected  to  follow  would 
be  that  the  laboring  classes  would  take  the  opportunity  of  the 
period  of  low  prices  immediately  following  the  crisis  to  invest 
some  of  their  savings  in  luxuries  which  hitherto  they  had  not 
felt  able  to  afford.  This  would  increase  the  demand  for  the 
goods  which  manufacturers  are  eager  to  dispose  of  at  almost 
any  price,  and  would  thereby  mitigate  the  evils  of  the  depressed 


market.  It  is  probably  true  that  the  immigrant,  under  the  same 
conditions,  will  save  more  out  of  a  given  wage  than  the  native, 
so  that  it  might  seem  that  an  alien  laboring  body  would  have 
more  surplus  available  for  use  at  the  time  of  a  crisis  than  a  native 
class.  But  the  immigrant  sends  a  very  large  proportion  of  his 
savings  to  friends  and  relatives  in  the  old  country,  or  deposits 
it  in  foreign  institutions,  so  that  it  is  not  available  at  such  a 
time.  Moreover,  our  laboring  class  is  not  as  yet  wholly  foreign, 
and  the  native  has  to  share  approximately  the  same  wage  as 
the  alien.  Without  the  immense  body  of  alien  labor,  we  should 
have  a  class  of  native  workers  with  a  considerably  higher  wage 
scale,  and  a  large  amount  of  savings  accumulated  in  this  country, 
and  available  when  needed. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  may  be  argued  that  if  the  desire  to  pur- 
chase goods  in  a  depressed  market  should  lead  to  a  large  with- 
drawal of  cash  from  savings  banks  and  similar  institutions,  it 
might  tend  to  augment  rather  than  alleviate  the  evils  of  a  money 
stringency.  There  seems  to  be  much  force  to  this  argument. 
Yet  Mr.  StreightofT  tells  us  that  in  a  period  of  hard  times  the 
tendency  is  for  the  poorer  classes  to  increase  their  deposits, 
rather  than  diminish  them.  On  the  whole,  it  seems  probable 
that  a  large  amount  of  accumulated  savings  in  the  hands  of  the 
poorer  classes  would  tend  to  have  a  steadying  influence  on  condi- 
tions at  the  time  of  a  crisis,  and  that  by  preventing  this,  as  well 
as  in  other  ways,  immigration  tends  to  increase  the  evils  of  crises. 

In  closing,  it  may  be  interesting  to  note  what  are  the  elements 
in  our  alien  population  which  respond  most  readily  to  economic 
influences  in  this  country,  and  hence  are  mainly  accountable  for 
the  influences  we  have  been  considering.  As  stated  above,  the 
annual  reports  of  the  Commissioner  General  of  Immigration  give 
very  complete  data  as  to  the  make-up  of  the  incoming  and  out- 
going streams  by  years.  Thus  in  the  fiscal  year  1908  there  were 
782,870  immigrant  aliens  and  141,825  nonimmigrant  aliens 
admitted.  Of  the  nonimmigrant  aliens,  86,570  were  individuals 
whose  country  of  last  permanent  residence  and  of  intended  future 
residence  were  both  the  United  States ;  that  is,  they  were  alien 
residents  of  this  country  who  had  been  abroad  for  a  brief  visit. 
These  are  the  birds  of  passage  in  the  strictest  sense,  in  which  we 
shall  use  the  term  hereafter.  In  the  same  year  there  was  a  total 


exodus  of  714,828  aliens,  of  whom  395,073  were  emigrants  and 
319,755  nonemigrants.  The  former  class  includes  those  who  have 
made  their  fortune  in  this  country  and  are  going  home  to  spend 
it,  and  those  who  have  failed  and  are  going  home  broken  and 
discouraged  —  a  very  large  number  in  this  panic  year.  The 
latter  class  includes  aliens  who  have  had  a  permanent  residence 
in  the  United  States,  but  who  are  going  abroad  to  wait  till  the 
storm  blows  over,  with  the  expectation  of  returning  again  — 
true  birds  of  passage  outward  bound.  There  were  133,251  of 
these.  The  balance  were  aliens  in  transit,  and  aliens  who  had 
been  in  this  country  on  a  visit,  or  only  for  a  short  time.  In  1909 
there  were  751,786  immigrant  aliens  and  192,449  nonimmigrant 
aliens.  Of  the  nonimmigrants  138,680  were  true  birds  of  passage 
according  to  the  above  distinction  —  a  large  number  and  almost 
exactly  equal  to  the  number  of  departing  birds  of  passage  in 
the  previous  year.  The  storm  is  over,  and  they  have  come  back. 
The  departures  in  that  year  numbered  225,802  emigrant  and 
174,590  nonemigrant  aliens.  These  numbers  are  considerably 
smaller  than  in  the  previous  year,  but  are  still  large,  showing 
that  the  effects  of  the  crisis  were  still  felt  in  the  early  part  of 
this  fiscal  year.  The  number  of  birds  of  passage  among  the  non- 
emigrant  aliens,  80,151,  is  much  smaller  than  in  the  previous 
year.  In  1910  there  were  1,041,570  immigrant  aliens  and  156,467 
nonimmigrant  aliens.  In  the  latter  class,  the  number  of  birds 
of  passage,  94,075,  again  approximated  the  corresponding  class 
among  the  departures  of  the  previous  year.  The  departures  in 
1910  were  202,436  emigrant  aliens  and  177,982  nonemigrant 
aliens,  of  whom  89,754  were  birds  of  passage.  This  probably 
comes  near  to  representing  the  normal  number  of  this  class.  A 
careful  study  of  these  figures  confirms  the  conclusion  reached 
above.  While  a  crisis  in  this  country  does  undoubtedly  increase 
the  number  of  departing  aliens,  both  emigrant  and  nonemigrant, 
and  eventually  cuts  down  the  number  of  arrivals,  the  total  effect 
is  much  smaller  than  is  usually  supposed,  and  taken  in  connection 
with  the  fact  that  the  stream  of  arrivals  is  never  wholly  checked, 
the  influence  of  emigration  in  easing  the  labor  market  is  abso- 
lutely trifling. 

Comparing  the  different  races  in  regard  to  their  readiness  to 
respond  to  changes  in  economic  conditions,  it  appears  that  the 


Italians  stand  easily  at  the  head,  and  the  Slavs  come  second. 
In  1908,  in  the  traffic  between  the  United  States  and  Italy, 
there  was  a  net  loss  in  the  population  of  this  country  of  79,966 ; 
in  1909,  a  net  gain  of  94,806.  In  the  traffic  between  this  country 
and  Austria-Hungary  there  was  a  loss  in  1908  of  5463  ;  in  1909 
a  gain  of  48,763.  In  the  traffic  with  the  Russian  Empire  and 
Finland  there  was  a  gain  of  104,641  in  1908  and  a  gain  of  94,806 
in  1909.  This  shows  how  unique  are  the  motives  and  conditions 
which  control  the  migration  from  the  two  latter  countries. 
The  emigrants  from  there,  particularly  the  Jews,  come  to  this 
country  to  escape  intolerable  conditions  on  the  other  side,  not 
merely  for  the  sake  of  economic  betterment.  They  prefer  to 
endure  anything  in  this  country,  rather  than  to  return  to  their 
old  home,  even  if  they  could. 



MANY  persons  who  have  spoken  and  written  of  late  years 
in  favor  of  restriction  of  immigration  have  laid  great 
stress  upon  the  evils  to  society  arising  from  immigration.  They 
have  claimed  that  disease,  pauperism,  crime,  and  vice  have  been 
greatly  increased  through  the  incoming  of  the  immigrants. 
Perhaps  no  other  phase  of  the  question  has  aroused  so  keen 
feeling,  and  yet  perhaps  on  no  other  phase  of  the  question  has 
there  been  so  little  accurate  information. 

It  is  doubtful  whether  the  increased  number  of  convictions 
for  crime  are  found  because  more  crimes  are  committed,  or  be- 
cause our  courts  and  the  police  are  more  active.  It  is  probable 
that  we  hear  more  of  vice  and  immorality  in  these  late  days, 
not  because  they  are  on  the  increase,  but  because  people's  con- 
sciences have  become  more  sensitive,  and  in  consequence  greater 
efforts  are  made  to  suppress  them. 

It  is  certain  that  the  injurious  effect  of  most  contagious  diseases 
has  been  very  greatly  lessened,  and  yet  it  is  probable  that  we 
hear  more  regarding  contagious  diseases  now  than  ever  before 
because  we  have  become  more  watchful. 

The  data  regarding  contagious  diseases,  pauperism,  and  crime, 
in  connection  with  the  immigrants,  are  extremely  meager  and 
unsatisfactory;  but  the  Immigration  Commission  made  the 
best  use  possible  of  such  data  as  exist,  and  it  was  able  to  institute 
a  number  of  inquiries  which,  though  limited  in  extent,  never- 
theless have  served  to  throw  some  light  upon  the  relation  of 
immigration  to  these  various  social  problems.  Although  it 
seems  probable  that  the  injurious  social  effects  of  immigration 
have  been  greatly  exaggerated  in  the  minds  of  many  persons, 
nevertheless  it  would  be  practically  impossible  to  exaggerate 
the  social  importance  that  might  attach  to  immigration  under 



certain  conditions.  History  and  observation  afford  numberless 

It  is  a  generally  accepted  fact  that,  up  to  the  time  of  the  visita- 
tion of  the  Pacific  Islands  by  diseased  sailors  from  Europe  in 
the  early  part  of  the  last  century,  venereal  diseases,  as  known  in 
Europe  and  America,  did  not  exist  in  those  islands,  and  that 
their  introduction  by  only  a  few  sailors  was  largely  responsible 
for  the  ravages  of  these  terrible  diseases,  unchecked  by  any 
medical  knowledge,  that  swept  away  in  many  instances  a  large 
proportion  of  the  entire  population. 

The  entrance  of  an  evil-minded  man  into  a  village  community, 
or  one  or  two  foul-minded  boys  into  a  school,  is  often  enough  to 
affect  materially  the  entire  tone  of  the  school  or  community. 
It  is  important,  therefore,  that  as  careful  consideration  as  possible 
be  given  to  these  questions  that  have  been  so  emphasized,  and 
that  rigid  measures  be  taken  to  check  whatever  evils  may  have 


In  earlier  days  neither  the  Federal  Government  nor  State 
governments  had  passed  any  laws  to  protect  the  United  States 
against  the  immigration  of  undesirable  persons  of  whatever 
kind.  Even  the  energetic  action  of  those  promoting  the  so-called 
"Native  American"  or  "Know-Nothing"  movements,  from  1835 
to  1860,  resulted  in  no  protective  legislation.  Indeed,  these 
movements  were  largely  based  on  opposition  to  the  immigration 
of  Catholics  rather  than  to  that  of  persons  undesirable  for  other 
reasons.  In  1836  the  Secretary  of  State  was  requested  to  collect 
information  respecting  the  immigration  of  foreign  paupers  and 
criminals.  In  1838  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  of  the  House 
of  Representatives  was  instructed  to  consider  the  expediency 
of  providing  by  law  against  the  introduction  into  the  United 
States  of  vagabonds  and  paupers  deported  from  foreign  countries. 
Moreover,  a  bill,  presented  on  the  recommendation  of  the  Com- 
mittee, proposed  a  fine  of  $1000,  or  imprisonment  for  from  one 
to  three  years,  for  any  master  who  took  on  board  his  vessel, 
with  the  intention  of  transporting  to  the  United  States,  any 

1  Cf .  for  details,  reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  XXXIX ;  also  Chap- 
ter XVI. 


alien  passenger  who  was  an  idiot,  lunatic,  one  afflicted  with  any 
incurable  disease,  or  one  convicted  of  an  infamous  crime.  The  bill, 
however,  was  not  considered.  The  early  " Native  American" 
movement  had  been  local,  confined  to  New  York  City  at  first, 
afterward  spreading  to  Philadelphia,  but  in  1852  the  secret 
oath-bound  organization  that  took  the  name  of  the  American 
Party,  the  members  of  which  were  popularly  called  the  Know- 
Nothings,  came  into  national  politics,  and  for  a  few  years  exerted 
not  a  little  power,  carrying  nine  State  elections  in  1855.  Later, 
in  something  of  a  reaction  against  this  "  Know-No  thing "  move- 
ment, which  finally  proposed  only  the  exclusion  of  foreign  paupers 
and  criminals,  there  was  a  definite  effort  made  to  encourage 

In  1864,  on  the  recommendation  of  President  Lincoln,  a  bill 
encouraging  immigration  was  passed.  In  1866  a  joint  resolution 
condemned  the  action  of  Switzerland  and  other  nations  in  par- 
doning persons  convicted  of  murder  and  other  infamous  crimes 
on  condition  that  they  would  emigrate  to  the  United  States, 
and  in  1868  the  encouraging  act  .was  repealed. 

Some  of  the  States  had  provided  for  the  collection  of  money 
to  support  immigrants  who  had  become  public  charges ;  but 
these  laws  were  finally  declared  unconstitutional  by  the  United 
States  Supreme  Court,  and  in  1882  the  first  Federal  Immigra- 
tion Law  was  approved.  This  forbade  convicts,  except  political 
offenders,  lunatics,  idiots,  and  persons  likely  to  become  public 
charges,  to  land.  During  the  following  years  there  was  consid- 
erable agitation  for  further  restriction  or  regulation,  which 
culminated  in  1888  in  the  selection  of  the  "Ford  Committee" 
by  the  House  of  Representatives.  In  the  testimony  before  the 
committee  it  was  shown  that  sometimes  immigrants  coming 
by  steamer  to  Quebec,  within  forty-eight  hours  of  their  arrival, 
applied  for  shelter  in  the  almshouses  of  the  State  of  New  York, 
and  like  cases  of  gross  abuse  existed  by  the  thousands. 

No  further  legislation,  however,  was  enacted  until  1891,  when  a 
bill  was  passed  which  added  to  the  excluded  classes  persons  suffer- 
ing from  a  loathsome  or  dangerous  contagious  disease,  and  polyg- 
amists,  but  from  that  time  on  there  has  been  an  earnest  effort  to 
protect  the  United  States  against  such  undesirable  immigrants. 


Our  present  law  provides  that  in  case  of  aliens  who  are  debarred 
for  physical  or  mental  reasons  and  whose  disability  might  have 
been  detected  by  the  transportation  company  through  a  compe- 
tent medical  examination  at  the  time  of  embarkation,  the  trans- 
portation company  shall  pay  the  sum  of  $200  and  in  addition 
a  sum  equal  to  that  paid  by  such  alien  for  his  transportation  from 
the  initial  point  of  departure  indicated  in  his  ticket  to  the  port 
of  arrival,  and  such  sum  shall  be  paid  to  the  alien  on  whose  ac- 
count it  is  assessed.  In  consequence  of  these  and  the  precedi 
regulations,  the  transportation  of  diseased  aliens  has  becom 
so  unprofitable  that  the  steamship  companies  have  provided,  a 
the  leading  foreign  ports,  a  medical  inspection  similar  to  tha 
made  in  the  United  States.1 


As  a  result  of  this  inspection  compelled  by  the  rigid  enforce- 
ment of  our  laws  at  our  port$  of  entry,  the  number  of  persons/ 
debarred  at  American  ports  is  relatively  very  small.  In  the  fiscal] 
year  1907,  1,285,349  aliens  were  admitted,  while  only  4400  were 
debarred  on  account  of  physical  and  mental  diseases.  In  1914, 
as  against  1,218,480  aliens  who  entered,  11,068  were  debarred. 
The  increase  is  due  largely  to  the  added  efficiency  of  our  medical 
service.  The  fact  that  a  large  proportion  of  the  immigrants 
arriving  in  the  United  States  come  from  countries  where 
trachoma,  favus  and  other  contagious  diseases  are  prevalent 
among  the  classes  of  the  population  from  whom  the  immigrants 
come,  shows  how  careful  the  steamship  inspection  is. 

A  still  further  proof  is  that  the  persons  excluded  on  account 
of  diseases  from  the  ports  of  Italy,  where  the  judgment  of  Ameri- 
can medical  officers  is  accepted  as  final,  is  slightly  larger  than 
those  rejected  from  some  other  countries  where  the  inspection 
is  made  solely  by  the  physicians  employed  by  the  steamship 

On  the  whole,  the  medical  inspection  of  immigrants  at  foreign 
ports,  while  not  absolutely  effective,  seems  to  be  reasonably 

1  Immigration  Act,  1917,  Sec.  9. 


satisfactory.  A  considerable  time  must  elapse  between  embarka- 
tion at  European  ports  and  arrival  in  the  United  States.  More- 
over, doubtless,  in  spite  of  the  best  efforts  that  can  be  made, 
there  will  be  occasionally  an  avoidance  of  inspection ;  but  taking 
all  circumstances  into  account,  the  present  control  of  immigrants 
as  regards  contagious  diseases  seems  to  be  quite  satisfactory. 

It  has  frequently  been  suggested  that  some  system  should 
be  devised  by  which  immigrants  may  be  inspected  before  leaving 
their  homes  for  a  port  of  embarkation.  Such  an  arrangement 
would,  of  course,  prevent  many  hardships  now  suffered  by  the 
thousands  that  are  annually  turned  back  at  foreign  ports  of 
embarkation ;  but  this  is  a  subject  over  which  our  government 
has  no  supervision,  the  governments  of  the  home  countries  being 
the  only  ones  which  could  take  effective  action. 

The  policy  adopted  by  the  United  States,  of  holding  steam- 
ship companies  responsible  for  bringing  to  the  United  States 
those  physically  and  mentally  diseased,  seems  to  be  right,  and 
\  to  have  been  of  increasing  effectiveness  in  late  years.  Inasmuch, 
however,  as  the  circumstances  in  different  cases  vary  materially, 
it  seems  desirable  that  the  .penalty  provided  for  evasion  of  the 
law  either  through  carelessness  or  connivance  might  also  be  varied 
so  that  under  certain  circumstances  as  heavy  a  fine  as  $500 
might  be  levied. 


x^In  order  that  a  more  careful  test  might  be  made  of  the  physical 
V     conditions  of  the  immigrants  after  their  arrival  in  this  country 
the  Immigration  Commission  had  an  accurate  record1  kept  of 
all  charity  patients  entering  the  Bellevue  and  Allied  Hospitals 
I   in  New  York  City,  during  the  seven  months  from  August  i, 
^  1908,  to  February  28,  1909,  these  hospitals  being  the  ones  that 
most  frequently  treat  charity  patients  of  the  immigrant  classes. 
Records  of  23,758  cases  were  taken,  of  whom  52.3  per  cent  were 
foreign-born.   When  any  race  was  represented  by  200  or  more 
patients,  the  results  were  tabulated,  so  that  some  conclusions 
might  be  reached  regarding  the  liability  to  certain  diseases  of 
the  different  classes  of  immigrants  of  the  various  races  and  na- 
tionalities.     | 

1  Reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  I. 


It  is  a  rather  striking  fact  that,  so  far  as  one  can  judge  from\ 
these  records  kept,  the  races  of  the  recent  immigration,  those  / 
from  southern  and  eastern  Europe,  are  not  so  subject  to  diseases  C 
that  seem  to  be  allied  with  moral  weaknesses,  as  some  of  those  { 
of  the  older  immigration  races.   For  example,  the  largest  per- 
centage of  diseases  treated  among  Italians  is  19.6  per  cent  for 
traumatism,  burns,  etc.,  these  apparently  arising  from  the  fact 
that  the  newly  arrived  Italian  immigrant  is  likely  to  be  employed 
in  unskilled  labor,  where  he  meets  with  slight  accidents.   The 
Hebrews  also  suffer  most  from  this  cause,  a  percentage  of  13.1 
per  cent. 

The  Irish,  who  are  also  largely  unskilled  workmen,  show  only  ' 
11.7  per  cent  of  their  cases  coming  from  this  cause,  whereas 
35.9  per  cent  of  the  Irish  patients  treated  were  suffering  from 
alcoholism,  acute  and  chronic.  Of  the  English  27.5  per  cent, 
and  of  the  German  12.8  per  cent,  were  treated  for  alcoholism, 
and  only  7.2  per  cent  and  12.4  per  cent,  respectively,  for  trauma- 
tism, burns,  etc.  Of  the  Italians  only  1.6  per  cent  were  treated 
for  alcoholism  and  of  the  Hebrews  only  0.9  of  i  per  cent. 

The  Swedes  with  1.5  per  cent,  Irish,  Italians,  Polish,  and 
Scotch  each  with  0.9  per  cent,  show  a  larger  proportion  treated 
for  syphilis  than  the  English,  Germans,  Hebrews,  or  Magyars. 
The  English  with  2.1  per  cent  and  the  Italians  with  1.5  per  cent 
had  a  larger  proportion  treated  for  gonorrhea  than  any  of  the 
other  races  of  which  a  detailed  study  was  made. 

Among  the  native-born  negroes  only  3.6  per  cent  were  treated 
for  alcoholism. 


It  is  much  more  difficult,  in  many  instances,  to  detect  the 
mentally  than  the  physically  defective.  Often  there  is  nothing 
to  indicate  to  the  medical  inspector  mental  disease,  unless  the 
immigrant  can  be  kept  under  observation  for  a  considerable 
period  of  time,  or  unless  the  history  of  the  case  is  known.  Under 
the  law,  "All  idiots,  imbeciles,  feeble-minded  persons,  epileptics, 
are  excluded,  insane  persons,  and  persons  who  have  been  insane 
within  five  years  previous;  and  persons  who  have  had  two  or 
more  attacks  of  insanity  at  any  time  previously."  It  is  the 
custom  invariably  to  hold  for  observation  any  patient  who  shows 



any  evidence  whatever  of  mental  disease ;  but  despite  this  care 
not  a  few  cases  are  found  of  those  who  have  developed  insanity 
within  a  comparatively  short  period  after  landing.  In  some 
instances  this  might  have  been  anticipated  if  the  history  of  the 
patient  had  been  known,  but  otherwise  there  was  no  means  of 
detection.  The  present  law  on  this  point  seems  to  be  satisfactory, 
and  its  enforcement  generally  good  under  the  very  difficult 
conditions;  but  it  would  be  desirable  to  have  a  larger  force  of 
experts  to  examine,  and  also,  if  it  were  practicable,  to  provide 
some  better  means  for  securing  the  history  of  arriving  immigrants. 










No.  per 
100,000  of 


No.  per 
100,000  of 

United  States  .          


I  "\O  I  ^I 

186  2 

io6wi8<;  2 

1  7O  O  ^ 

England  and  Wales  .     .     .     .     . 
Scotland      .     .     . 



16  658 

^62  7 



22   I?8 




12  8lO 



•2Q7  O 


1  004. 

60  100 

177  5 



1  08  004 

191  6 



•24.  802 

IO9  2 

Austria  .... 


14.  80? 

C7  o 

70  YA7 

TI7   C 


2  7l6 


14.  I 

17  117 

88  8 



8  o<8 

l67  £ 



7  4.34. 

224.  2 

Norway  .... 


I  8^3 

80  c 


2^8  4. 




e  08^ 


O7  3 

8  OO* 

I  C4.  O 



-}   AiQ. 

4.  IO7 

171  3 

The  tables  above,  taken  from  the  Special  Report  of  the 
United  States  Census,  which  some  observations  by  the  Immigra- 
tion Commission  in  Bellevue  and  Allied  Hospitals  in  New  York 
and  reports  of  the  Bureau  of  Immigration  tend  to  confirm, 

^Compiled  from  United  States  Census,  Special  Report, 
minded  in  hospitals  and  institutions,  1904,"  pp.  9  and  10.  j- 
2  Figure  for  June  i,  1890. 

Insane  and  feeble- 


throw  some  light  on  the  relative  tendencies  of  certain  races 
toward  insanity,  and  show  that  certain  aliens  are  more  inclined 
toward  insanity  than  are  native-born  Americans. 


The  high  ratio  of  insanity  prevailing  among  foreign-born""] 
persons  in  the  United  States  may  be  due,  in  a  measure  at  least,  L^ 
to  racial  or  national  tendencies. 

Data  showing  the  number  of  insane  and  the  ratio  of  insanil 
in  the  principal  European  countries  and  in  Canada  are  afforded 
by  the  Special  Report  of  the  Census  Bureau.   These  data,  together 
with  like  data  for  the  United  States,  obtained  from  the  same 
source,  are  presented  in  the  table  below. 






20.  0 

i*  6 



England  and  ^^ales                                  . 

7  O 

o  o 

Canada  2            


II  4 

ii.  c 


Scotland                  .                    .... 

I  7 

2  3 

Italy    .               






Hungary  and  Bohemia 

2  2 

2  O 

Russia  and  Poland      


7  8 

Other  countries                                             . 

7  3 





1  Compiled  from  United  States  Census,  Special  Report, 
minded  in  hospitals  and  institutions,  1904,"  pp.  23  and  24. 

2  Includes  Newfoundland. 

'  Insane  and  feeble- 



Although  in  the  earlier  days  before  strict  regulation  of  immi- 
gration had  been  provided  by  law  many  poor  people  came  from 
Europe,  their  home  countries  paying  the  expenses  of  their  ship- 
ment in  order  to  rid  themselves  of  the  burden  of  their  support, 
our  present  regulations  excluding  those  who  are  liable  to  become 
a  public  charge  have  practically  stopped  the  immigration  of  this 
undesirable  class.  The  Immigration  Commission,  with  the 
assistance  of  the  Associated  Charities  in  forty-three  cities, 
including  practically  all  the  large  immigrant  centers  excepting 
New  York,  reached  the  conclusion  that  only  a  very  small  per- 
centage of  the  immigrants  now  arriving  applied  for  relief. 

In  this  statistical  investigation,1  covering  31,374  cases  actually 
receiving  assistance  and  reporting  cause,  it  was  found  that  28.7 
per  cent  had  applied  for  assistance  because  of  the  death  or  dis- 
ability of  the  breadwinner  of  the  family ;  18.9  per  cent  on  account 
of  the  death  or  disability  of  another  member  of  the  family ;  59 
per  cent  from  lack  of  employment  or  insufficient  earnings;  18.7 
per  cent  on  account  of  neglect  or  bad  habits  of  the  breadwinner ; 
6.2  per  cent  on  account  of  old  age;  and  10  per  cent  from  other 

It  will  be  noted  that  because  more  than  one  reason  was  given 
in  some  cases,  this  total  amounts  to  more  than  100  per  cent, 
but  the  relative  proportions  of  the  cases  under  the  different  classes 
.are  probably  substantially  accurate .  If  we  attempt  to  discriminate 
among  the  different  races,  it  appears  that  it  is  among  the  immi- 
grants of  the  earlier  period  or  those  coming  from  Northern  Europe 
that  we  find  apparently  the  largest  number  of  cases  of  neglect 
or  bad  habits  of  the  breadwinner.  For  example,  among  the  South 
Italians,  only  8.7  per  cent  give  this  cause,  whereas  the  Irish 
give  20.9  per  cent,  the  English  14  per  cent,  the  German  15.7 
per  cent,  the  Norwegians  25.9  per  cent.  The  Hebrews,  again, 
as  representatives  of  the  later  immigrants,  give  12.6  per  cent, 
L^  but  the  Lithuanians,  by  exception,  give  25.6  per  cent. 

In  the  case  of  those  giving  lack  of  employment  as  the  cause, 
the  highest  percentage  is  found  among  the  Syrians,  75.4  per 
cent;  the  lowest  among  the  French  Canadians,  38.9  per  cent 

1  Reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  I. 


There  do  not  seem  to  be  striking  differences  in  this  regard  among 
the  other  nationalities ;  among  the  South  Italians  67.8  per  cent, 
the  Polish  65,9  per  cent,  the  Irish  54.8  per  cent,  the  English 
63.3  per  cent,  the  Germans  58.1  per  cent ;  the  preponderance  being 
slightly  greater  among  the  late  arrivals  than  among  the  early. 
On  the  other  hand,  if  we  note  the  length  of  time  that  those 
assisted  have  been  in  the  United  States,  we  find  that  33.9  per 
cent  of  those  who  have  received  aid  have  been  here  twenty  years 
or  over,  whereas  only  6  per  cent  have  been  here  two  years ;  and 
if  we  take  all  who  have  been  here  under  three  years,  it  amounts 
to  only  10.3  per  cent.  Apparently,  therefore,  the  newly  arrived 
immigrants  do  not  soon  apply  for  aid  to  any  large  extent.  It 
should  be  noted,  also,  that  this  investigation  was  made  during 
the  six  months  of  the  winter  of  1908-1909,  while  the  effects  of 
the  industrial  depression  of  1907-1908  were  still  felt.  These  last* 
facts  emphasize  strongly  the  effectiveness  of  our  present  immi- 
gration laws  in  excluding  those  likely  to  become  a  public  charge, 
as  compared  with  the  lack  of  care  in  ear  Her  years,  when  within 
forty-eight  hours  of  landing  large  numbers  applied  for  relief. 


Probably  no  other  question  in  connection  with  immigration 
has  aroused  greater  interest  than  its  relation  to  crime.  Probably 
more  hostility  to  the  immigrant  has  been  aroused  by  the  asser- 
tion that  their  incoming  has  increased  crime  in  this  country  than 
by  any  other  fact ;  and  yet  it  is  impossible  to  produce  satisfactory 
evidence  that  immigration  has  resulted  in  an  increase  of  crime 
out  of  proportion  to  the  increase  in  the  adult  population.  Al- 
though available  statistical  material  is  too  small  to  permit  the 
drawing  of  positive  conclusions,  such  material  as  is  available,  /  ^L 
if  trustworthy,  would  seem  to  indicate  that  immigrants  are  rather 
less  inclined  toward  criminality,  on  the  whole,  than  are  native 
Americans,  although  these  statistics  do  indicate  that  the  children 
of  immigrants  commit  crime  more  often  than  the  children  of 

Any  special  study  of  the  relation  of  immigration  to  crime 
should  take  into  consideration  not  only  the  number  of  convictions 
for  crime  but  also  the  nature  of  the  crimes  committed  and  possibly 


the  relative  likelihood  of  the  detection  of  crime  in  different  locali- 
ties or  among  different  classes  of  the  population. 


Although  the  immigration  laws  provide  for  the  exclusion  of 
persons  who  have  been  convicted  of,  or  confess  to,  an  infamous 
crime,  there  can  be  no  doubt  that  many  criminals  have  succeeded 
and  still  succeed  in  evading  this  law. 

It  is,  of  course,  impossible  for  an  immigration  inspector  to  tell 
from  the  appearance  of  a  man  whether  or  not  he  has  been  a 
criminal.  In  many  cases  criminals,  especially  those  who  have 
committed  certain  classes  of  serious  crimes,  such  as  forgery  or 
even  burglary,  may  be  well-dressed,  intelligent  persons,  traveling 
in  first  cabin.  Unless  something  is  known  of  their  previous 
history,  if  they  do  not  declare  that  they  have  been  convicted  of 
crime,  they  will  be  admitted  without  question.  Doubtless  many 
aliens  enter  the  United  States  contrary  to  the  law  after  having 
been  convicted  of  a  crime,  and  having  served  out  their  sentence  \ 
or,  having  been  convicted  of  crime  by  foreign  courts  during 
their  absence  from  the  place  of  trial,  as  is  permitted  in  some 
countries,  if  they  have  escaped  arrest  and  fled  the  country. 
Moreover,  our  laws  do  not  exclude  persons  who  have  not  been 
convicted  of  crime  although  they  may  be  looked  upon  as  danger- 
ous persons  or  probably  criminals  and  on  that  account  have 
been  placed  by  their  home  courts  under  police  surveillance. 

The  Immigration  Commission,1  in  order  to  make  as  careful 
a  study  as  possible  of  this  most  important  question  within  the 
means  at  its  disposal,  took  into  careful  account  the  material 
collected  by  the  United  States  Census  on  the  extent  of  crime, 
going  through  carefully  the  latest  report  regarding  prisoners  and 
juvenile  delinquents  in  institutions  in  1904.  In  addition  to  this, 
use  was  made  of  the  records  of  the  County  and  Supreme  Courts 
of  New  York  State,  from  1907  to  1908,  of  the  New  York  City 
Magistrates  Courts,  1901-1908,  and  of  the  New  York  Court 
of  General  Sessions,  October  i,  1908  to  June  30,  1909,  the  ma- 
terial in  this  last  case  having  been  especially  collected  by  agents 
of  the  Commission. 

1  Reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  XXXVI. 


Furthermore,  the  records  of  commitments  to  penal  institution 
in  Massachusetts,  October  i,  1908,  and  September  30,  1909, 
and  data  relating  to  alien  prisoners  in  the  penal  institutions 
throughout  the  United  States,  in  1908,  were  utilized,  as  well  as 
the  police  records  made  in  Chicago  in  the  years  1905-1908. 

Many  of  these  figures,  of  course,  are  not  comparable  one 
with  another,  but  by  a  careful  study  certain  general  conclusions 
may  be  reached. 


The  tables  of  the  distribution  of  classes  of  crime  on  pages  288 
and  289,  show  that  in  all  of  the  courts  investigated,  the  proportion 
of  natives  committing  gainful  offenses  is  decidedly  larger  than 
that  of  foreigners,  although  in  offenses  of  personal  violence  and 
of  those  against  public  policy  the  foreigner  predominates.  It 
should  be  borne  in  mind,  however,  that  in  the  case  of  offenses 
against  public  policy  many  are  merely  the  violation  of  a  city 
ordinance,  such  as  peddling  without  a  city  license,  and  it  may 
be  that  in  certain  of  these  cases  the  newly  arrived  immigrant 
was  not  aware  that  he  was  committing  an  offense.  Even,  how- 
ever, if  he  did  know  that  he  was  violating  an  ordinance,  it  could 
hardly  be  assumed  that  it  was  such  a  misdemeanor  as  would 
imply  a  serious  criminal  tendency. 

When  on  the  other  hand  we  take  up  the  offense  of  personal 
violence,  we  find  that  in  the  City  Magistrate's  Court  of  New 
York  and  in  the  County  and  Supreme  Courts  of  the  same  State, 
the  percentage  of  offenses  of  personal_viQ]ence  is  very  much 
higher  among  the  Italians  than  among  any  other  race  or  national- 
ity. This  seems  a  matter  of  special  significance.  For  example, 
of  the  convictions  of  Italians  in  the  County  and  Supreme  Courts 
of  New  York  State,  39.3  per  cent  were  for  offenses  of  personal 
violence ;  of  the  convictions  of  persons  born  in  Austria-Hungary, 
only  1 8. 6  per  cent  were  for  offenses  of  that  class;  for  those 
born  in  Ireland,  only  16.5  per  cent ;  and  for  native-born  citizens, 
11.7  per  cent.  On  the  other  hand,  when  in  the  same  courts  we 
find  that  in  the  relative  frequency  of  gainful  offenses,  the  United  , 
States  leads  with  ^7.8  per  cent,  and  the  Italians  have  the  fewest  ( 
offenses  with  37.6  per  cent,  we  see  the  relative  inclinations  of 
the  different  races  brought  out  in  a  most  striking  way. 







0      ON 

H    OO 

CO  1/5  M    NO      CO 

Tj-  M  <N      M      O\ 

O\  M    es    o» 



O\00  co 
O  <»  ON 
to  vo  Tf 

O          to  •* 
t^         >o  O 

M  00      M 

tO  O  ON 

Tt     M  M 

co  co  M 

cT  o"  M" 



10    Tj-     M 

o  J>-  \o 

O    O    co 

M        to 


ON  t^  M 
t-  ON  O 
00  ON  M 












t-  00    00 

b  w 




04      M      H 

3  s 


o  ^ 




t^*  vO     ^ 










ON    CO    t^ 





M      CO    N 




ON    M     t^ 







M       IO     CS 





1000     ON 

cs    t^*   O 




M    r^oo 





O  oo    to 





t^    CO   10 







to  -^-  o 

CN|     |>.  NO 








t^  vO     co 





M    -^   rf 





to  oo    to 





0      0,00 






oo  oo   to 





t^    rj-    to 



t^<*    M      H 





O    O    O 





8  8  8 











8  8  8 



bO    *  *O 


•    rt 

'a  • 


^  8^ 

d  sessions 
ark  county 


§  8  | 




a  &^ 





Convictions:  Number 














United  States    .     .     . 
Austria-Hungary  .     . 










Germany      .... 









j  j 













Total  foreign  z     . 
Grand  total    .     . 







Convictions:  Per  cent  distribution 














United  States  .  .  . 
Austria-Hungary  .  . 


68.  ? 

ii.  7 

12.  0 


II.  7 



6  <: 

Germany  .... 








2  O 

Italy  ./.... 


6s  6 


17  7 

II    <? 


2  I 









Total  foreign  2     . 
Grand  total    .     . 










1  New  York  County  and  Supreme  Courts,  1907-1908. 

2  Includes  "Other  countries." 


Among  these  gainful  offenses,  however,  there  seems  to  be  a 
wide  difference  in  kinds  of  crime.  Of  the  convictions  of  persons 
born  in  the  United  States,  29.9  per  cent  were  for  burglary.  In 
extortion,  the  Italians  lead  with  3.05  per  cent;  in  forgery  and 
fraud,  the  Canadian  with  4.03  per  cent ;  in  larceny  and  receiving 
stolen  property,  the  Russian  leads  with  48.5,  while  in  robbery, 
the  Poles  are  preeminent  with  4.2  per  cent. 

If  a  similar  analysis  is  made  of  the  relative  frequency  of  offenses 
of  personal  violence,  the  Italians  seem  to  show  a  peculiarly  bad 
eminence,  leading  in  homicide  with  6.3  per  cent  of  all  the  con- 
victions, while  the  nationality  next  to  them  is  the  Irish  with 
only  2.2  per  cent.  In  abduction,  the  Italians  also  lead  with 
2.03  per  cent,  England  being  second  at  only  0.62  per  cent.  In 
assault  the  Italians  are  first  with  28.9  per  cent,  Austria-Hungary 
second  at  15  per  cent.  In  all  of  the  offenses  of  personal  violence 
the  Italians  lead,  except  in  the  case  of  rape,  where  the  Germans 
and  Italians  are  equal  at  2.1  per  cent,  citizens  of  the  United 
States  following  at  1.6  per  cent.  In  the  same  court,  the  Italians 
lead  in  crimes  against  the  public  health  and  safety  with  13.8  per 
cent,  the  Poles  ranking  second  with  5.2  per  cent.  In  the  case  of 
violation  of  excise  laws  and  similar  offenses,  the  Canadian  leads 
with  10.5  per  cent,  the  English  following  with  only  6.2  per  cent. 

It  is  perhaps  sufficient  to  say  here  that  on  the  whole,  in  spite 
of  the  inclination  apparently  shown  by  certain  nationalities  to 
commit  certain  classes  of  crime,  it  is  impossible  to  show  whether 
or  not  the  totality  of  crime  has  been  increased  by  immigration. 


There  can  be  no  doubt  regarding  the  inadequacy  of  our  laws 
for  the  exclusion  of  criminals.  Many  criminals  doubtless  come 
as  seamen,  or  as  employees  in  some  capacity  on  ships,  and  then 
secure  entrance  to  the  country  by  desertion,  while,  as  already 
explained,  many  others  escape  because  the  inspecting  officials 
cannot  detect  them. 

Unless  an  immigrant  has  a  criminal  record  abroad,  there 
seems  no  way  of  ridding  the  country  of  his  presence  if  he  becomes 
a  criminal  here.  It  seems  advisable,  that  our  laws  be  so  amended 
kthat  an  alien  who  becomes  a  criminal  within  a  relatively  short 


time  after  his  arrival,  say  from  three  to  five  years,  should  be 
deported  after  he  has  paid  the  penalty  here.  Presumably  such 
a  person  has  brought  with  him  a  tendency  to  commit  crime. 

Moreover,  it  would  seem  advisable  for  the  United  States  to 
make  arrangements  with  certain  foreign  countries  that  keep 
police  records  of  all  their  citizens,  so  that  all  persons  arriving 
from  those  countries  might  be  required  to  produce  a  penal 
certificate  showing  a  clear  record.  Those  unable  to  present  such 
a  record  should  be  excluded.  Such  an  arrangement  could  not 
well  be  made  with  all  countries,  since,  first,  many  countries  keep 
no  such  records,  but  also,  second,  because  such  an  arrangement 
would  probably  be  used  by  some  countries  as  an  additional 
means  of  oppressing  political  offenders  or  those  suspected  of 
revolutionary  inclinations,  however  praiseworthy  such  inclina- 
tions might  be  from  the  American  viewpoint. 

The  Immigration  Commission  and,  also,  at  about  the  same 
time,  the  Police  Department  of  New  York  City,  proved  by 
experiment  in  some  hundreds  of  cases  that  it  is  possible  to  secure 
in  some  foreign  countries  documentary  evidence  of  the  conviction 
of  crime  of  immigrants  who  have  been  admitted  through  error. 
So  far  as  is  known,  the  Bureau  of  Immigration  has  never  seriously 
attempted  such  work,  though  it  might  well  be  a  means  of  ridding 
the  country  of  scores,  even  hundreds,  of  dangerous  criminals. 
Moreover,  if  the  Government  were  to  keep  abroad  a  confidential 
force  to  watch  for  criminal  and  immoral  persons  intending  to 
enter  this  country,  as  it  does  provide  such  a  force  abroad  to  pre- 
vent smuggling  of  goods,  good  results  could  doubtless  be  obtained. 
A  smuggled  criminal  or  prostitute  is  far  more  injurious  to  the 
country  than  a  smuggled  diamond  or  silk  coat.  Why  not  take 
equal  care  regarding  them  ? 


So  much  has  been  said  in  late  years  about  "race  suicide," 
and  so  much  of  both  the  industrial  and  military  strength  of  a 
country  depends  upon  the  natural  increase  of  population  through 
the  birth  rate,  that  the  relative  fecundity  of  immigrant  women 
as  compared  with  that  of  both  native-born  of  foreign  parents 


and  native-born  of  native  parents  is  of  great  significance.  For- 
tunately enough,  excellent  material  was  collected  by  the  Twelfth 
Census,  although  not  utilized  by  the  Census  Bureau,  so  that  the 

•  Immigration  Commission  was  able  from  the  original  data  thus 
collected  to  reach  accurate  results  of  value.  It  was  not  considered 

;  practicable  to  make  use  of  the  material  for  all  sections  of  the 
/  United  States,  but  the  State  of  Rhode  Island,  the  city  of  Cleve- 
land and  forty-eight  counties  (largely  rural)  in  the  State  of  Ohio, 
the  city  of  Minneapolis  and  twenty-one  rural  counties  in  Minne- 
sota, were  taken  as  typical  of  the  different  sections  of  the  country 
and  of  urban  and  rural  conditions.  The  detailed  figures  are  of 
great  interest.1 


Some  general  conclusions  may  be  reached  as  follows :  The 
percentage  of  women  under  forty-five  years  of  age  who  had 
been  married  from  ten  to  nineteen  years,  when  classified  by 
parentage  and  nativity  shows  that  in  all  these  regions  selected 
for  study  7.4  per  cent  bore  no  children.  Among  the  native 
whites  of  native  parentage  this  fact  held  of  13.1  per  cent,  while 
among  the  whites  of  foreign  parentage  of  only  5.7  per  cent. 
Among  the  women  of  foreign  parentage  the  percentage  of  women 
bearing  no  children  was  largest  among  the  Scotch — 8.9  per  cent 
of  the  first  generation  and  11.3  per  cent  of  the  second  generation. 

The  Polish  women  were  the  most  fertile;  of  the  women  of 
the  first  generation  only  2.6  per  cent  bore  no  children,  and  of 
those  of  the  second  only  1.5  per  cent.  The  Bohemians,  Russians, 
and  Norwegians  show  likewise  relatively  few  women  without 
children,  while  the  English,  French,  Irish,  and  English  Canadian 
rank  next  to  the  Scotch  in  the  large  numbers  unfruitful.  Speak- 
ing generally,  also,  it  may  be  noted  that  the  percentage  of  child- 
less women  is  decidedly  higher  in  the  second  generation  of  the 
white  women  of  foreign  parentage,  although  this  difference  does 
not  appear  in  so  marked  a  degree  in  rural  Minnesota  as  in  the 
other  areas.  Generally  speaking,  the  result  would  seem  to  indi- 
cate that  the  second  generation,  under  rural  conditions,  is  almost 
as  likely  to  have  children  as  the  first.  Under  urban  conditions 
this  is  not  so  likely  to  occur,  as  percentages  indicate. 

1  Reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  XXVIII. 


Considering  the  question  from  another  viewpoint,  that  of  the  » 
average  number  of  children  borne  by  women  of  the  different  races 
and  nationalities  in  these  different  localities, — among  the  women 
of  American  stock,  the  average  number  of  children  in  Cleveland, 
Minneapolis,  and  Rhode  Island,  which  are  largely  urban,  is  much 
the  same,  2.4  and  2.5,  while  in  the  rural  districts  of  both  Ohio  and 
Minnesota,  the  number  of  children  is  practically  one  more,  3.4. 

Among  the  women  of  foreign  stock,  the  difference  between 
city  and  country  is  not  so  decidedly  marked,  but  there  is  also 
decided  variation  among  the  different  races.  The  average  num- 
ber of  children  borne  by  women  under  forty-five  years  of  age, 
married  from  ten  to  nineteen  years,  was  2.7  for  native  white 
women  of  native  parentage,  and  4.4  for  the  native  white  women 
of  foreign  parentage.  Among  those  races  studied,  the  highest 
birth  rate  was  found  among  the  Eole§  —  6.2  children  for  the 
women  of  the  first  generation  and  5.1  for  those  of  the  second. 
Next  to  these  rank  the  French  Canadians  with  5.8  for  the  first 
generation  and  4.9  for  the  seconl37~Among  the  foreigners  the  low- 
est birth  rate  was  found  among  the  English,  with  3.7  for  the  first 
generation  and  2.9  for  the  second.  The  Scotch  ranked  almost 
the  same  with  3.8  in  the  first  generation  and  2.9  in  the  second. 

In  practically  all  of  these  cases  the  number  of  children  is 
larger  in  rural  districts  and  smaller  in  the  cities,  although  in  the 
case  of  Poles  in  Ohio  6.1  was  the  rate  in  Cleveland  to  5.6  in  rural 
Ohio.  The  exception  does  not  appear  significant. 



Still  another  indication  of  the  same  tendency  of  the  native" 
Americans  and  the  second  generation  of  immigrants  to  have 
fewer  children  is  shown  by  the  average  number  of  years  married 
for  each  child  born  to  the  women  enumerated.  As  is  to  be  ex- 
pected from  what  has  preceded,  the  smallest  average  number  of 
years  is  found  among  the  Poles  with  2.3  for  the  first  generation 
and  2.6  for  the  second.  The  largest  number  of  years  is  found 
among  the  English  with  3.9  of  the  first  generation  and  5  of  the 
second  generation.  The  English  Canadian,  the  Scotch,  and  the 


French  all  rank  high,  while  the  Italians,  French  Canadians,  and 
Norwegians  rank  low. 

The  general  results  seem  to  indicate  that  fecundity  is  much 
greater  among  women  of  foreign  parentage  than  among  the 
;  American  women  of  native  parentage  and  usually  greater  among 
the  immigrants  than  among  their  descendants.  Generally  speak- 
ing, also,  the  fecundity  is  greater  in  the  rural  districts  than  in  the 
cities.  Taking  all  the  totals  together,  the  fecundity  seems  great- 
est in  the  first  generation  of  Polish  women,  wEo  bore  in  the 
years  indicated  one  child  every  2.3  years,  while  it  is  least  in  the 
second  generation  of  English  women,  who  bore  on  the  average 
one  child  only  every  five  years. 


In  many  respects  the  most  pitiful  as  well  as  the  most  revolting 
phase  of  the  immigration  question  is  that  connected  with  the 
social  evil  or  the  white  slave  traffic. 

From  the  nature  of  the  cases,  it  is,  of  course,  impossible  to 
get  detailed  statistics  regarding  the  question.1  From  the  figures 
collected  in  an  investigation  of  four  months  in  the  New  York 
City  Night  Court,  November  15,  1908,  to  March.  15,  1909,  it 
appears  that  27.7  per  cent  of  the  women  arrested  and  convicted 
for  keeping  disorderly  houses  and  solicitation,  were  foreign- 
born.  Of  these  foreign-born  cases  in  the  Night  Court,  581  in 
all,  the  Hebrews  furnished  the  largest  number,  225,  the  French 
next  with  154,  followed  by  the  Germans  with  69.  In  cases  of 
exclusion  and  deportation  the  figures  are  materially  different. 
A  very  large  proportion  of  the  girls  who  come  to  our  cities  to 
engage  in  this  business  are  from  the  country  districts  and  are 
American-born,  although  very  often  they  are  immigrant  girls 
who  have  entered  factories  of  various  types  or  have  been  engaged 
in  such  lines  of  activity  that  they  are  kept  from  the  benefits  of 
home  influence. 


In  very  many  other  cases,  however,  an  important  indirect 
cause  of  their  downfall  seems  to  be  economic,  although  dependent, 
largely,  upon  the  other  conditions  surrounding  their  home  life. 

1  Reports  of  Immigration  Commission,  Vol.  XXXVH. 


In  the  very  crowded  districts  of  the  great  cities  the  conditions 
of  living  are  such  that  the  normal  instincts  of  modesty  and 
propriety  are,  in  many  cases,  almost  inevitably  deadened,  with 
the  result  that  yielding  to  temptation  is  much  easier  and  more 
frequent  than  would  otherwise  be  the  case.  Low  wages  are  in 
themselves  scarcely  ever  a  direct  cause. 

The  investigations  of  the  Immigration  Commission  seem 
to  show  very  clearly  that  the  keepers  of  disorderly  houses  and 
those  most  actively  engaged  in  the  work  of  procuring  inmates 
for  these  houses,  either  in  this  country  or  abroad,  are  either  aliens 
or  the  children  of  aliens. 

All  such  figures,  however,  are  likely  to  be  misleading.  The 
opinions  of  the  agents  of  the  Commission,  of  the  police,  and  of 
others  familiar  with  the  situation,  lead  one  to  the  conclusion  that 
the  largest  proportion  of  prostitutes  entering  the  country  are 
French ;  the  Hebrews  seem  rather  to  have  engaged  in  the  life 
after  entering  the  country.  The  Hebrews  seem,  on  the  other 
hand,  to  be  more  active  as  procurers  and  pimps  in  seducing  the 
young  girls  here  and  persuading  them  to  enter  the  life. 

The  report  of  the  Commission  of  Immigration  for  1914  gives 
the  total  number  of  nationalities  debarred  for  prostitution  as 
follows  :  English,  57  ;  French,  32  ;  German,  37  ;  Hebrew,  27  ; 
Mexicans,  107.  Those  debarred  as  procurers :  English,  37 ; 
French,  14;  Germans,  31;  Hebrews,  6;  Mexicans,  65.  These 
figures  bring  into  evil  prominence  the  Mexicans  and  English. 
Deportation  after  admission  shows  like  results.1 


Of  the  women  who  are  thus  imported  for  immoral  purposes, 
either  willingly  or  against  their  will,  certain  nationalities  seem  to 
be  especially  prominent.  The  numbers  of  some  of  the  different 
races  convicted  in  the  night  court  have  been  given  on  page 
289 ;  but  these  convictions  are,  of  course,  no  certain  measure  of 
the  numbers  or  proportions  of  those  imported. 


The  motive  of  business  profit  has  given  the  impulse  which 
creates  and  upholds  this  traffic,  whether  carried  on  in  this  country 
1  Annual  Report  of  the  Commissioner  General  of  Immigration,  p.  105. 


or  whether  the  women  are  imported.     The  persons  actively  en- 
gaged in  enticing  women  into  the  business  have  only  profit  in  view. 


In  securing  entry  into  this  country  contrary  to  law,  these 
women  are  generally  brought  in  as  wives  or  relatives  of  the 
importers.  It  is  usually  very  difficult,  if  not  impossible,  to 
detect  these  cases ;  and  after  admission  it  is  likewise  extremely 
difficult  to  secure  such  evidence  as  to  justify  deportation. 

The  system  of  exploitation  on  the  part  of  the  procurers  and 
other  persons  engaged  in  the  traffic  is  extremely  brutal  and 
revolting,  resulting  almost  invariably  in  absolute  poverty  and 
dependence  on  the  part  of  the  victim  and  usually  within  a  com- 
paratively short  time  in  disease  and  an  early  death. 


*•  It  is,  of  course,  impossible  to  discuss  in  detail  the  evil  results 
of  this  traffic  in  immigrants.  Suffice  it  to  say  that  it  has  materially 
heightened  the  gross  evils  of  prostitution.  Unnatural  practices 
are  brought  largely  from  continental  Europe ;  the  fiendish  work 
of  the  procurers  and  pimps  is  largely  done  by  aliens  or  immi- 
grants ;  diseases  are  spread  more  widely  among  guilty  and  inno- 
cent; even  the  ancient  vice  of  the  use  of  men  and  boys  for 
""immoral  purposes  is  coming  from  abroad. 

Fortunately,  the  investigation  of  the  Commission  aroused  the 
public  to  action.  Their  repoft  has  been  followed  by  others  made 
by  private  Commissions,  especially  in  Chicago,  Minneapolis, 
and  New  York.  The  governments  and  courts  seem  now  to  be 
doing  really  effective  work. 


Under  the  recommendation  of  the  Commission  new  laws  have 
been  passed  by  Congress,  and  in  a  number  of  our  States  much 
more  stringent  laws  have  been  passed  since  the  report  of  the 
Immigration  Commission,  so  that  at  the  present  time,  with  a 
reasonable  degree  of  effort  on  the  part  of  well-meaning  citizens 
and  reasonable  diligence  on  the  part  of  the  police  officials  and  of 
the  courts,  the  worst  evils  of  the  traffic  may  be,  and  in  many 


instances  have  already  been,  decidedly  checked  and  the  worst 
criminals  have  in  many  instances  been  convicted.  The  remedy 
in  this,  as  in  most  such  matters,  is  to  maintain  a  sufficient  degree 
of  intelligent  knowledge  on  the  part  of  the  thoughtful  normal 
citizen,  and  a  willingness  to  deal  with  such  a  revolting  subject 
with  frankness,  intelligence,  conservatism  and  firmness,  unmixed 
with  fanaticism  and  prejudice. 


In  most  of  the  discussions  on  immigration  that  have  appeared  ~ 
during  the  last  few  years,  whether  the  immigrant  came  from 
Europe  or  from  Asia,  great  importance  has  been  attached  to 
the  social  effects  of  immigration  arising  from  the  personal  quali- 
ties of  the  immigrants.   Many  have  feared  that  the  physical 
standards  of  the  population  of  the  United  States  would  be  lowered/ 
by  the  incoming  of  diseased  persons ;   that  the  arrival  of  immi-| 
grants  and  paupers  would  prove  not  merely  a  financial  burden 
but  also  a  menace  to  the  morals  of  the  community;   while  the 
late  discussions  over  the  white  slave  traffic  and  other  forms  of 
vice  have  served  still  more  strongly  to  accentuate  this  belief 
in  the  social  evils  arising  from  immigration. 

The  late  investigations  of  the  Immigration  Commission  show 
that,  vital  as  the  social  effects  are,  relatively  speaking,  undue 
significance  has  been  attached  during  the  past  few  years  to  these 
social  effects  as  a  motive  for  legislation.  While  there  are  still 
many  improvements  to  be  made  in  our  immigration  laws  and 
in  their  administration,  nevertheless  at  the  present  time  there 
is  no  serious  danger  to  be  apprehended  immediately  from  the 
social  defects  of  the  immigrants,  as  has  already  been  shown  in 
this  chapter.  The  number  of  persons  afflicted  with  contagious  I 
diseases  or  insanity,  or  the  number  of  paupers  or  criminals  arriv- 
ing, taking  them  as  individuals,  is  very  large,  but  taken  as  a 
percentage  of  the  entire  number  coming  is  so  small  that  too  much 
heed  need  not  be  paid  to  it.  Of  course,  this  does  not  mean  th 
we  ought  not  to  make  every  effort  possible  to  lessen  still  further 
these  evils.  Every  effort  possible  should  be  made,  and  special 
emphasis  should  be  placed  upon  caring  for  the  immigrants  after 
their  arrival,  in  order  to  bring  them  as  soon  as  possible  into 


harmony  with  our  best  institutions.   But  these  evils  should  not 
blind  our  eyes  to  those  of  more  far-reaching  import. 

The  chief  danger  of  immigration  lies,  not  in  this  direction. 
but  in  the  field  of  industry.  When  immigrants  who  are  unskilled 
laborers  arrive  in  so  large  numbers  that  the  tendency  is  for  them 
to  lower  the  average  rate  of  wages  and  the  standard  of  living 
among  the  wage  earners,  the  danger  is  one  much  more  far-reach- 
ing, and  one  to  which  our  statesmen  should  give  earnest  atten- 
tion. This  includes  indirectly  often  social  effects  as  well.  A 
number  of  later  chapters  will  serve  to  show  how  imminent  this 
industrial  danger  is,  in  what  form  it  appears,  and  the  way  in 
which  it  should  be  met.  This,  rather  than  the  immediate  social 
evils,  is  the  most  difficult  phase  of  the  immigration  problem, 
and  at  the  moment  it  is  the  most  important  phase.  It  is  this 
that  calls  for  prompt  legislation. 



T)ERHAPS  no  question  is  of  more  paramount  and  continuing 
-L  interest  to  the  American  people  than  immigration  in  all 
its  phases  and  relations  to  public  welfare.  The  history  of  the 
United  States  is  the  history  of  alien  immigration.  The  earliest 
pioneers  were  themselves  alien  immigrants.  Our  institutions, 
political,  religious,  and  social,  have  been  founded  and  supported 
by  aliens  or  their  near  descendants.  Our  country  is  indeed  a 
melting  pot,  into  which  have  been  poured  diverse  varieties  of 
peoples,  from  all  nations  and  races.  Yet  in  the  face  of  this, 
these  variant  elements  have  been  fused  into  a  more  or  less  homo- 
geneous nation.  A  national  life  and  character  we  have.  This 
national  or  American  character  is  not  exemplified  in  those  places 
where  the  large  streams  of  immigration  are  pouring  in,  but  farther 
away  where  the  waters  have  mixed.  Such  a  condition,  unique 
in  the  history  of  nations,  is  responsible  for  certain  problems 
which  are  also  unique  in  history,  and  consequently  do  not  admit 
of  solution  according  to  precedents. 

The  first  rule  of  national  life  is  self-preservation,  and  since 
immigration  has  had  and  still  has  so  important  a  role  in  American 
national  life,  it  must  be  carefully  scrutinized  to  determine  which 
immigrants  are  desirable,  and  vice  versa,  from  the  standpoint  of 
the  betterment  and  continuance  of  the  American  nation.  The 
choice  between  free  immigration,  restricted  immigration,  and 
absolute  exclusion  is  increasingly  difficult  to  make,  and  does  not 
enter  our  field  of  inquiry,  except  to  recall  a  principle  which  is  as 
valid  from  the  medical  standpoint  as  from  the  economic  or  social. 
Only  those  peoples  should  be  admitted  whom  experience  has 
shown  will  amalgamate  quickly  and  become  genuine  citizens. 
The  period  of  residence  necessary  for  citizenship  should  be  raised 

1  From  The  Popular  Science  Monthly,  April,  1912. 



from  three  to  five  years,  during  which  time  the  immigrant  should 
be  literally  on  probation,  and  subject  to  deportation  if  found 
wanting,  or  if  unable  to  meet  the  qualifications  of  citizenship 
at  the  end  of  that  time.  The  government  should  decide  where 
the  immigrant  may  settle  and  the  immigration  current  should 
be  directed  to  the  Western  and  farming  districts,  and  not  allowed 
to  stagnate  in  Eastern  cities. 

The  great  mass  of  popular  literature  on  the  subject  of  immi- 
gration is  singularly  deficient  in  discussion  and  analysis  of  its 
medical  features.  It  is  true,  the  United  States  government  be- 
stows on  public  health  and  preventive  medicine  nowhere  near 
the  attention  it  finds  necessary  for  the  prevention  of  disease  in 
stock  and  for  agricultural  improvement,  but  none  the  less  there 
are  certain  well-organized  and  efficiently  operated  agencies 
which  have  for  their  function  the  improvement  of  public  hygiene 
and  sanitation,  the  eradication  of  preventable  disease,  and  the 
study  of  causation  and  methods  of  control  of  diseases.  Most  of 
these  functions  are  exercised  by  the  Public  Health  and  Marine 
Hospital  Service,  which,  strangely  enough,  constitutes  a  bureau 
under  the  Treasury  Department.  Some  of  this  work  is  done 
under  the  Department  of  Agriculture,  and  other  minor  lines 
are  scattered  elsewhere  through  the  national  machinery.  It  is 
easily  seen  how  much  more  efficient  would  be  the  work  were  all 
these  agencies  for  national  health  protection  united  under  one 
administrative  head,  and  their  various  activities  carefully  coordi- 

The  Public  Health  and  Marine  Hospital  Service  operates  all 
national  quarantine  stations  where  inspection  is  made  for  yellow 
fever,  typhus  fever,  smallpox,  bubonic  plague,  leprosy,  and  chol- 
era; maintains  hospitals  throughout  the  country  for  sailors  of 
the  American  merchant  marine ;  conducts  the  Hygienic  Labora- 
tory at  Washington  for  the  study  of  the  causation  and  treatment 
of  diseases;  exercises  numerous  minor  functions  of  a  national 
board  of  health ;  and  conducts  the  medical  inspection  of  immi- 
grants. Certain  diseases  are  found  so  frequently  among  immi- 
grants, and  others  are  so  inherently  dangerous,  as  to  merit  special 
mention  because  of  their  important  relation  to  public  health. 
j  First  among  these  might  be  placed  trachoma,  a  disease  of  the 
I  eyelids  characterized  by  extreme  resistance  to  treatment,  very 


chronic  course,  and  most  serious  results.  Most  of  the  immigrant 
cases  occur  in  Russians,  Austrians,  and  Italians,  although  it  is 
of  common  occurrence  in  oriental  and  Mediterranean  countries. 
It  causes  a  large  percentage  of  the  blindness  in  Syria  and  Egypt. 
Its  contagious  nature,  together  with  the  resulting  scarring  of  the 
lids  and  blindness,  make  its  recognition  imperative.  The  hook- 
worm (Uncinaria)  has  received  much  attention  lately  since  it 
has  been  found  so  widely  distributed  through  the  mountains 
of  the  South,  the  mines  of  California,  the  middle  West,  etc.  It 
is  a  minute  parasitic  intestinal  worm  about  tjiree  fifths  of  an  inch 
long,  and  under  the  microscope  shows  relatively  enormous  and 
powerful  chitinous  jaws  by  means  of  which  it  attaches  itself  to 
the  intestinal  walls.  The  saliva  of  the  hookworm  has  the  curious 
property  of  preventing  coagulation  of  blood  like  leech  extract, 
and  when  it  is  remembered  that  the  worms  may  vary  in  number 
from  several  hundred  to  a  thousand  or  more,  and  that  each  worm 
moves  frequently  from  place  to  place  on  the  intestinal  wall, 
it  is  apparent  how  excessive  and  continuous  is  the  drain  on  the 
blood  and  lymph  juices.  The  result  is  an  extreme  anemia  which 
brings  in  its  wake  a  varied  multitude  of  bodily  ills,  and  may 
eventuate  fatally,  meanwhile  having  incapacitated  the  victim 
for  mental  or  physical  work.  Infection  can  spread  rapidly  from 
a  single  case.  Not  many  hookworm  carriers  have  been  discovered 
among  immigrants,  probably  because  the  facilities  for  their 
detection  are  so  meager.  But  the  heavy  immigration  from  coun- 
tries where  uncinaria  is  abundant,  a%well  as  the  recent  suggestive 
work  of  Dr.  H.  M.  Manning  at  the  Ellis  Island  Immigrant 
Hospital,  indicates  that  there  is  a  constant  stream  of  fresh  infec- 
tion pouring  in.  Indisputably  routine  examination  for  hook- 
worms should  be  instituted.  The  same  can  be  said  of  other 
intestinal  parasites  as  tapeworms,  pinworms,  whipworms,  eel- 
worms  and  others.  One  of  the  tapeworms,  the  so-called  fish 
worm  (Dibothriocephalus  latus) ,  leads  to  an  anemia  fully  as  severe 
as  that  from  the  hookworm. 

Many  other  diseases  might  be  mentioned,  but  these  are  suffi- 
cient to  illustrate  the  importance  of  careful  medical  inspection 
of  immigrants. 

The  total  immigration  into  the  United  States  through  all  ports 
of  entry  for  the  year  ending  June  30,  1911,  was  1,052,649.  Of 


these  22,349  were  debarred  for  various  reasons,  leaving  a  net 
increase  of  1,030,300.  The  chief  port  of  entry  is,  of  course,  New 
York,  where  749,642  aliens  were  examined.  Next  in  order  of 
importance  came  Boston,  Baltimore,  and  Philadelphia,  and  at 
a  greater  distance  Galveston,  Tampa,  San  Francisco,  Honolulu. 
Miami,  and  Portland,  Maine.  As  the  laws  are  uniform  and  the 
methods  of  inspection  the  same  at  all  ports,  consideration  of 
methods  and  results  at  Ellis  Island,  New  York,  will  give  a  clear 
idea  of  the  entire  subject. 

The  medical  inspecting  service  at  Ellis  Island  is  divided  into 
three  branches,  the  hospital,  the  boarding  division,  and  the  line, 
The  hospital  division  presents  an  excellently  equipped  and  man- 
aged institution,  and  an  isolated  set  of  buildings  for  contagious 
diseases.  The  hospital  service  is  limited  exclusively  to  immi- 
grants, and  the  patients  are  those  acutely  ill  upon  arrival,  those 
taken  sick  during  their  stay  on  the  island,  and  cases  of.  acute 
sickness  among  aliens  already  landed  who  for  some  reason  have 
been  brought  to  the  island  for  deportation. 

The  boarding  division  of  the  medical  inspection  on  Ellis  Island 
has  for  its  particular  function  the  inspection  of  aliens  in  the  first 
and  second  cabins  on  board  the  incoming  vessels.  Those  who 
require  more  detailed  examination  are  sent  to  Ellis  Island. 

The  routine  inspection  on  the  line  is  that  part  which  the  visitor 
sees,  and  is  the  most  important  feature  of  the  medical  sieve 
spread  to  sift  out  the  physically  and  mentally  defective.  The 
incoming  immigrants  pass  in  single  file  down  two  lines.  Each 
of  these  lines  makes  a  right-angled  turn  midway  in  its  course. 
At  this  turn  stands  a  medical  officer.  He  sees  each  person  directly 
from  the  front  as  he  approaches,  and  his  glance  travels  rapidly 
from  feet  to  head.  In  this  rapid  glance  he  notes  the  gait,  attitude, 
presence  of  flat  feet,  lameness,  stiffness  at  ankle,  knee,  or  hip, 
malformations  of  the  body,  observes  the  neck  for  goitre,  mus- 
cular development,  scars,  enlarged  glands,  texture  of  skin,  and 
finally  as  the  immigrant  comes  up  face  to  face,  the  examiner 
notes  abnormalities  of  the  features,  eruptions,  scars,  paralysis, 
expression,  etc.  As  the  immigrant  turns,  in  following  the  line, 
the  examiner  has  a  side  view,  noting  the  ears,  scalp,  side  of  neck, 
examining  the  hands  for  deformity  or  paralysis,  and  if  anything 
about  the  individual  seems  suspicious,  he  is  asked  several 


questions.  It  is  surprising  how  often  a  mental  aberration  will 
show  itself  in  the  reaction  of  the  person  to  an  unexpected  question. 
As  the  immigrant  passes  on,  the  examiner  has  a  rear  view  which 
may  reveal  spinal  deformity  or  lameness.  In  case  any  positive 
or  suspicious  evidence  of  defect  is  observed,  the  immigrant  re- 
ceives a  chalk  mark  indicating  the  nature  of  the  suspicious 

At  the  end  of  each  line  stands  a  second  medical  officer  who  does 
nothing  but  inspect  eyes.  He  everts  the  eyelids  of  every  person 
passing  the  line,  looking  for  signs  of  trachoma,  and  also  notes 
the  presence  of  cataract,  blindness,  defective  vision,  acute  condi- 
tions requiring  hospital  care,  and  any  other  abnormalities.  All 
cases  which  have  been  marked  on  the  line  are  separated  from  the 
others  and  sent  to  the  medical  examining  rooms  for  careful 
examination  and  diagnosis.  When  it  is  remembered  that  often 
5000  immigrants  pass  in  a  day,  it  is  clear  that  the  medical 
officers  not  only  are  kept  busy,  but  that  they  see  an  unusually 
wide  variety  of  cases. 

After  careful  examination,  the  nature  of  the  defect  or  disease 
found  is  put  in  the  form  of  a  medical  certificate  which  must 
be  signed  by  at  least  three  of  the  physicians  on  duty.  It  is  not 
within  the  province  of  the  medical  officers  to  pass  judgment  on 
the  eligibility  of  the  immigrant  for  admission.  The  medical 
certificate  merely  states  the  diagnosis,  leaving  to  the  immigra- 
tion inspector  in  the  registry  division  the  duty  of  deciding  the 
question  of  admission.  In  the  inspector's  consideration  are 
included  not  alone  the  medical  report,  but  all  other  data  con- 
cerning the  applicant,  such  as  age,  money  in  his  possession,  previ- 
ous record,  liability  to  become  a  public  charge,  and  his  sponsors. 

Most  cases  of  trachoma  and  mental  or  organic  nervous  disease 
are  sent  to  the  hospital  and  kept  under  care  and  observation 
to  facilitate  an  accurate  diagnosis.  Seldom  indeed  does  the  alien 
suffer  from  too  harsh  a  medical  judgment.  He  is  given  the 
benefit  of  a  doubt  always.  For  example,  if  a  case  of  defective 
vision  is  found  to  be  3/20  normal,  it  would  be  certified  as  perhaps 
5/20  normal. 

The  immigration  law  as  it  stands  since  the  legislation  of  1907^ 
divides  all  defective  immigrants  into  the  following  classes  :  Class  \ 
A,  aliens  whose  exclusion  is  mandatory  because  of  a  definite  and  j 


specified  defect  or  disease.  Class  B,  aliens  not  under  Class  A, 
/but  who  possess  some  defect  or  disease  which  is  likely  to  inter- 
fere with  the  ability  to  earn  a  living.  Class  C,  aliens  who  present 
a  defect  or  disease  of  still  lesser  seriousness,  not  affecting  ability 
to  earn  a  living,  but  which  none  the  less  must  be  certified  for 
the  information  of  the  immigration  inspectors. 

Under  Class  A,  the  excluded,  are  listed  idiots,  imbeciles,  the 
feeble-minded;  the  epileptics,  the  insane,  persons  afflicted  with 
tuberculosis  of  the  respiratory,  intestinal,  or  genito-urinary  tracts, 
and  loathsome  or  dangerous  contagious  diseases.  By  contagious 
the  law  means  communicable.  Loathsome  contagious  diseases 
include  those  whose  presence  excites  abhorrence  in  others,  and 
which  are  essentially  chronic,  such  as  favus,  ringworm  of  the 
scalp,  parasitic  fungus  diseases,  Madura  foot,  leprosy,  and  venereal 
disease.  Dangerous  contagious  diseases  are  such  as  trachoma, 
filariasis,  hookworm  infection,  amoebic  dysentery,  and  endemic 

Under  Class  B,  diseases  and  defects  not  in  Class  A  but  which 
affect  ability  to  earn  a  living,  are  such  conditions  as  hernia,  or- 
ganic heart  disease,  permanently  defective  nutrition  and  muscular 
or  skeletal  development,  many  deformities,  varicosities  of  the 
lower  extremities,  premature  senescence  and  arterial  degenera- 
tion, certain  nervous  diseases,  chronic  joint  inflammations,  poor 
vision,  and  tuberculosis  of  the  bones,  skin,  or  glands.  The  immi- 
gration law  makes  no  distinction  between  cabin  and  steerage 
aliens,  and  the  medical  officer  has  no  duty  beyond  the  purely 
medical  inspection. 

Commissioner  of  Immigration  Williams  for  the  Port  of  New 
York  in  his  recent  report  for  the  fiscal  year  ending  June  30,  1911, 
makes  some  pertinent  observations  and  recommendations  regard- 
ing the  medical  phases  of  the  immigration  question  at  Ellis  Island. 
He  finds  that  the  present  medical  quarters  are  not  large  enough 
for  the  proper  execution  of  the  laws  relating  to  physical  and  men- 
tal defectives.  Expansion  to  an  appropriate  size  is  prevented 
by  the  failure  of  Congress  to  appropriate  the  funds  requested. 
He  notes  the  large  number  of  feeble-minded  children  in  the  schools 
of  New  York  City  who  have  passed  Ellis  Island,  and  gives  as 
one  reason,  lack  of  time  and  facilities  for  thorough  examination 
as  to  mental  condition.  The  result  is  that  the  law  in  this 


particular  is  practically  a  dead  letter.  According  to  the  law, 
the  feeble-minded  as  well  as  idiots  and  imbeciles  are  absolutely 
excluded.  It  is  of  vast  import  that  the  feeble-minded  be  detected, 
not  alone  because  they  are  predisposed  to  become  public  charges, 
but  because  they  and  their  offspring  contribute  so  largely  to 
the  criminal  element.  All  grades  of  moral,  physical,  and  social 
degeneracy  appear  in  their  descendants,  and  it  is  apparent 
how  grave  is  the  social  and  economic  problem  involved.  The 
steamship  companies  do  not  exercise  proper  precautions  in  receiv- 
ing immigrants  for  passage,  and  this  makes  all  the  more  necessary 
a  rigid  inspection  at  the  port  of  entry  into  this  country. 

The  report  of  the  Chief  Medical  Officer  on  Ellis  Island,  Dr. 
G.  W.  S toner,  shows  that  during  the  year  ending  June  30,  1911, 
nearly  17,000  aliens  were  certified  for  physical  or  mental  defect 
and  over  5000  of  these  were  deported  (not  necessarily  for  medical 
reasons  alone) .  Among  those  certified  were  209  mental  defectives, 
of  whom  45  per  cent  were  feeble-minded,  and  33  per  cent  in- 
sane. Under  loathsome  and  dangerous  contagious  diseases  there 
were  1361  cases,  of  which  85  per  cent  were  trachoma.  Over 
11,000  aliens  had  a  defect  or  diseases  affecting  ability  to  earn  a 
living  and  half  of  these  were  due  to  age  and  the  changes  incident 
to  senescence.  More  than  4000  certificates  were  rendered  for 
conditions  not  affecting  ability  to  earn  a  living. 

Over  6000  aliens  were  treated  in  the  immigrant  hospital, 
beside  720  cases  of  contagious  disease,  which  were  transferred  to 
the  State  Quarantine  Hospital  at  the  harbor  entrance  before  the 
completion  of  the  present  contagious-disease  hospital  on  Ellis 
Island.  Among  these  700  there  were  a  hundred  deaths,  chiefly 
from  measles,  scarlet  fever,  and  meningitis.  The  medical  officers 
also  examined  168  cases  which  had  become  public  charges  in 
surrounding  towns  of  New  York,  New  Jersey,  and  Connecticut, 
to  determine  the  nature  of  the  illness  and  if  due  to  causes  existing 
prior  to  landing.  Chief  among  the  contagious  diseases  were 
measles,  chicken  pox,  diphtheria,  and  scarlet  fever.  The  quaran- 
tinable  diseases,  cholera,  leprosy,  bubonic  plague,  smallpox, 
typhus  and  yellow  fever,  are  removed  at  the  New  York  Quaran- 
tine Station  before  the  vessels  are  docked. 

Statistics  such  as  these  inevitably  suggest  a  brief  considera-  j 
tion  of  the  different  sources  of  immigration  and  their  relative  I 


desirability  from  the  medical  standpoint.  In  general  it  may  be 
said  that  the  best  class  is  drawn  from  northern  and  western 
Europe,  and  the  poorest  from  the  Mediterranean  countries  and 
western  Asia.  Among  the  worst  are  the  Greeks,  South  Italians, 
and  the  Syrians,  who  emigrate  in  large  numbers.  The  Greeks 
offer  a  sad  contrast  to  their  ancient  progenitors,  as  poor  physical 
development  is  the  rule  among  those  who  reach  Ellis  Island,  and 
they  have  above  their  share  of  other  defects. 

The  old  question  of  the  desirability  of  the  Hebrew  must  be 
settled  on  other  grounds  than  those  of  physical  fitness  alone, 
although  even  here  the  medical  evidence  is  decidedly  against 
him,  as  Dr.  McLaughlin  has  shown  that  the  proportion  of  defec- 
tives to  total  landed  is  greatest  among  the  Syrians,  i  in  29, 
and  next  greatest  among  Hebrews,  i  in  42.  Contrary  to  popular 
belief,  the  Jewish  race  is  far  from  a  pure  stock,  and  has  been 
colored  by  various  and  repeated  admixtures  with  other  bloods. 
Hence  Jews  of  different  nationalities  differ  considerably  in  their 
physical  status  and  aptitude  for  American  institutions,  and  for 
amalgamation  with  our  body  politic.  Nojrace  is  desirable  which 
does  not  tend  to  lose  its  distinctive  traits  in  the  process  of  blend- 
ing with  our  own  social  body.  It  would  seem  from  history  that 
the  Jew  only  blends  inadvertently  and  against  his  conscious 
endeavor  and  desire.  Hence  the  process  of  true  assimilation  must 

be  very  backward.  Moreover,  in  origin,  racial  traits,  instincts 
and  point  of  view,  the  Hebrew  race  is  essentially  oriental,  and 
altogether  there  is  at  least  ground  for  objection  to  unrestricted 
Jewish  immigration. 

No  one  can  mistake  the  pressing  necessity  for  a  solution  of 
the  immigration  problem.  The  problem  of  New  York  City  in 
this  respect  is  unique  and  differs  from  that  of  the  rest  of  the  coun- 
try, because,  as  Walter  Laidlaw  points  out,  New  York  City  is 
in  reality  a  foreign  city,  inasmuch  as  in  1910  the  native-born  of 
native  parents  numbered  only  193  in  every  1000  inhabitants. 
This  preponderating  foreign  element  is  due  to  the  concentration 
of  arrested  immigration  in  New  York.  For  the  country  as  a 
whole,  great  interest  attaches  to  the  influence  which  the  Panama 
Canal  will  exert  in  diverting  immigration  lines  to  southern  and 
-  Pacific  coast  points.  New  local  problems  will  of  course  arise, 


but  the  basic  proposition  remains  always  the  same.  Immigration  I 
should  be  restricted  absolutely  to  such  races  as  will  amalgamate,  / 
without  lowering  the  standard  of  our  own  national  life. 

In  general,  immigrants  from  the  Mediterranean  countries 
should  be  excluded,  especially  those  from  Greece,  South  Italy, 
and  Syria,  as  well  as  most  Hebrews,  Magyars,  Armenians,  and 
Turks.  Strict  enforcement  of  the  present  medical  laws  will 
automatically  exclude  these  races  to  a  sufficient  extent,  admitting 
the  few  who  are  fit.  This,  combined  with  a  strictly  enforced 
five-year  probation  period,  with  deportation  as  the  penalty 
for  any  criminal  conviction  or  for  failure  to  qualify  for  citizen- 
ship afterward,  would  go  far  toward  relieving  the  situation.  This 
need  not  disqualify  aliens  from  travel  in  the  United  States. 

The  immigrant  per  se  has  no  moral  or  social  right  to  enter"" 
this  country  against  the  will  of  its  citizens.  An  enduring  common- 
wealth must  of  necessity  guard  rigidly  the  health  of  its  citizens 
and  protect  itself  against  undesirable  additions  from  without. 
There  was  a  time  when  European  immigration  was  free,  and 
almost  entirely  of  desirable  classes.  That  time  has  passed.  The 
less  desirable  classes  are  increasing  actually  and  relatively,  and 
at  the  expense  of  the  more  desirable.  It  can  truthfully  be  said 
that  the  dregs  and  off-scourings  of  foreign  lands,  the  undesir- 
ables of  whom  their  "own  nations  are- only  too  eager  to  purge 
themselves,  come  in  hosts  to  our  shores.  The  policy  of  those 
advocating  free  immigration  would  make  this  country  in  effect 
the  dumping  ground  of  the  world. 

Exclusion  of  these  undesirables  works  no  injustice  to  the 
lands  from  which  they  come.  A  large  emigration  from  a  land 
usually  is  followed  by  an  increased  birth  rate,  and  the  net  change 
is  slightly  affected,  if  at  all.  Admitting  undesirables  to  this  coun- 
try will  in  no  wise  elevate  the  world's  human  standard,  because 
those  undesirables  will  multiply  as  fast  here  as  in  their  original 
home,  and  their  stock  will  only  become  extinct  when  it  ceases 
to  perpetuate  itself.  High  requirements  for  admission  to  this 
country  reflexly  raise  standards  of  living  and  education  in  those 
lands  from  which  our  immigrants  are  drawn.  This  was  illustrated 
in  Italy  a  few  years  ago  when  the  higher  requirements  for  admis- 
sion caused  an  enforcement  of  the  primary  education  laws  which 


were  dead  letters  before.  Again,  increase  of  a  poorer  class  of 
immigration  decreases  the  number  of  the  better  class  and  also 
decreases  the  chances  of  those  who  do  come. 

The  medical  phases  of  immigration  blend  very  quickly  into 
the  subjects  of  national  health  protection,  national^eugenics^ 
and  even  the  future  existence  of  the  ideals  and  standard  of  life 
which  we  are  proud  to  call  American.  Conservatism  and  a 
carefully  maintained  medium  between  absolute  exclusion  and 
free  immigration  certainly  seems  the  best  policy. 




r  I  ^HE  alarming  increase  of  the  number  of  alien  criminals  "  has 

-L  come  to  be  the  favorite  topic  for  newspaper  editorials  when- 
ever a  sensational  crime  is  committed  in  the  foreign  section  of 
some  of  our  large  cities.  More  recently  the  official  statistician  has 
fallen  in  line  witji  the  popular  sentiment.  The  Commissioner- 
General  of  Immigration,  in  his  reports  for  the  years  1908  and 
1909,  dwells  upon  the  increase  of  the  number  of  aliens  in  penal 
institutions  from  1904  to  1908.  The  superintendent  of  the  state 
prisons  of  the  state  of  New  York,  in  his  report  for  the  year  1909, 
emphasizing  "the  recent  remarkable  increase  in  prison  popula- 
tion," gives  expression  to  the  view  "that  the  crowded  condition 
of  our  prisons  is  largely  due  to  the  influx  of  immigrants  during 
the  last  few  years." 

"  A  large  proportion  of  the  vicious  and  ignorant  .  .  .  make  the 
large  cities  their  headquarters.  Thus  there  is  forced  upon  New 
York  state  and  upon  its  charitable  and  penal  institutions  more 
than  their  due  proportion  of  the  undesirable  classes  of  immigrants, 
the  lawless,  the  illiterate,  and  the  defective."  As  a  remedy,  he 
recommends  "the  exclusion  of  this  undesirable  class  of  immi- 

Yet  the  very  fact  of  this  sudden  increase  of  the  rate  of  delin- 
quency and  dependency  within  so  short  a  period  would  suggest  to 
an  unbiased  student  of  social  phenomena  the  working  of  some 
extraordinary  cause.  If  it  be  remembered  that  the  later  statistics 
for  the  United  States  relate  to  the  year  1908,  which  was  a  year  of 
industrial  depression,  the  explanation  of  this  sudden  increase 
of  crime,  insanity,  and  pauperism  among  aliens  will  become 

Conceding,  for  the  sake  of  argument,  the  contention  of  the 
superintendent  of  New  York  state  prisons  that  the  state  of  New 

1  From  The  American  Journal  of  Sociology,  January,  1912. 



York  bears  more  than  its  proportionate  share  of  the  burden  of 
crime,  it  is  instructive  to  compare  the  average  daily  population 
of  the  three  state  prisons  for  each  of  the  last  ten  years. 




DECREASE  (—  ),  SINCE  1900 

•2  ,776 

•}  384 

I  QO2            


—    4 

3-21  7 

—    2 



-f    i 


•2   4.64. 

4-    1 


2  ,472 

+    1 


•2  4^6 

+    2 





A   A.2O 

+  11 

We  note  that  between  the  years  1900  and  1907  the  average 
daily  prison  population  fluctuated  but  very  slightly  from  year  to 
year,  falling  at  times  4  per  cent  below  or  rising  3  per  cent  above 
the  starting-point.  According  to  the  state  census  of  1905,  the 
population  of  the  state  increased  from  1900  to  1905  by  n  per 
I   cent;    a  large  share  of  that  increase  was  due  to  immigration; 
Lihus  relatively  to  the  population,  crime  was  decreasing.   The 
"years  1908  and  1909,  however,  show  a  sudden  increase  of  the 
prison  population ;   those  were  precisely  the  years  when  emigra- 
tion of  aliens  from  the  United  States  assumed  unprecedented 
proportions.   From  the  month  of  December,  1907,  to  the  month 
of  August,  1908,  emigration  from  the  United  States  exceeded 
immigration  by  124,124  persons,  while  from  June  3,  1900,  to 
June  30,  1907,  the  net  addition  through  immigration  to  the  popu- 
lation of  the  United  States  was  4,500,000  persons  of  whom  the 
i  state  of  New  York  received  a  proportionate  share.     In  other 
I  words,  the  wave  of  criminality  coincided  with  the  lowest  ebb  of 
\immigration,  while  the  high  tide  of  immigration  was  contemporaneous 
\with  a  decrease  of  crime. 

This  conclusion  is  fully  borne  out  by  the  annual  statistics  of 
crime  in  the  state  of  New  York  for  the  period  commencing  1830. 
Two  features  stand  out  conspicuously:  first,  that  taking  the 


three  quarters  of  a  century  covered  as  a  whole,  the  increase  of 
crime  merely  keeps  pace  with  the  growth  of  population ;  second, 
that  annual  figures  are  subject  to  very  sharp  fluctuations.  Any 
comparison  between  two  years  chosen  at  random  must  necessarily 
be  fallacious.  For  example,  if  the  years  1878  and  1894  were 
chosen  for  comparison,  one  might  reach  the  conclusion  that  the 
number  of  convictions  showed  a  very  encouraging  decrease  of 
crime.  As  that  period  witnessed  the  beginning  and  rapid  growth 
of  immigration  from  Russia,  it  might  be  further  argued  that  the 
decrease  of  crime  in  the  state  of  New  York  was  due  to  the  moral 
influence  of  Russian  immigrants  upon  the  people  of  the  state  of 
New  York.  This  inference  would  be  precisely  on  a  par  with  the 
conclusions  drawn  by  the  Immigration  Restriction  League  from 
a  comparison  of  the  prosperous  year  1904  with  the  year  1908, 
a  year  of  industrial  depression.  A  scientific  study  of  the  effects 
of  immigration  upon  criminality  must  cover  a  long  period,  em- 
bracing years  of  prosperity  and  industrial  depression,  so  that 
all  casual,  transitory,  and  temporary  influences  may  as  far  as 
possible  be  eliminated. 

Do  the  statistics  of  crime  in  the  state  of  New  York  justify  the 
fears  of  the  alarmist?  Table  II  shows  the  relative  number  of 
convictions  for  every  100,000  population  at  each  census  from 
1830  to  1905  : 





100,000  POPULATION 


I  O^O 


r  t 


I   34.3 

2  4.2Q 



I    <ZX2 

3  o87 


1860      .... 

i  601 

3  881 



2  I  Cl 

A    2,83 


1880      .     . 

2  SAY 

C  083 



-3    264. 




7  260 



A    QA2 



kit  appears  from  this  table  that  the  relative  rate  of  criminality 
Q  1890  was  the  same  as  in  1840,  notwithstanding  the  change  in 



the  racial  composition  of  the  population  of  the  state.  In  the 
year  1900  there  was  just  one  more  conviction  for  every  100,000 
of  the  population  than  in  1890,  and  in  1905  four  convictions  per 
100,000  population  in  excess  of  1900.  Certainly,  there  is  no 
occasion  to  go  into  hysterics. 

Still,  as  stated  before,  the  number  of  convictions  for  a  single 
year  may  be  exceptionally  high  or  low,  and  a  comparison  compris- 
ing even  a  number  of  single  years  may  accordingly  be  misleading. 
In  order  to  eliminate  the  effect  of  annual  fluctuations  of  the  num- 
ber of  convictions,  the  average  annual  number  of  convictions  for 
each  period  between  two  census  years  is  compared  in  Table  III 
with  the  average  annual  increase  of  the  population  of  the  state 
of  New  York,  for  the  same  periods. 







Annual  Average 

Percentage  Increase 
(  +  ),  or  Decrease  (-) 



I  O^7 


I  J.7A 

1851-1860  •    

I  734. 


+  17  7 

2  r  •? 


+  28  I 


31  r  2 



2  QOO 

—    80 

18  o 




+  28.8 
+  20  8 

22  O 

It  is  worthy  of  note  that  in  1861-1870  the  number  of  convictions 
was  increasing  faster  than  during  the  preceding  decade  1851- 
1860,  while  the  growth  of  population  was  slowing  down.  On  the 
contrary,  a  comparison  of  the  decades  1881-1890  and  1871-1880 
shows  that  the  number  of  convictions  fell  off,  while  the  popula- 
tion was  increasing  faster;  the  same  tendency  was  manifest 
during  .the  period  1901-1905,  as  compared  with  1891-1900. 
This  would  seem  to  indicate  that  the  causes  which  are  favorable 
to  the  growth  of  population  tend  to  reduce  crime,  and  vice  versa,  the 
causes  which  retard  the  growth  of  population  are  productive  of  an 
increase  of  crime. 


Let  us  next  examine  the  effect  of  immigration  upon  criminality 
in  the  state  of  New  York.  The  census  statistics  of  foreign-born  do 
not  go  farther  back  than  1850.  In  Table  IV  the  percentage  of 
foreign-born  at  each  census  is  collated  with  the  ratio  of  the  average 
annual  number  of  convictions  for  each  decade  ending  on  a  census 
year  to  the  average  population  for  the  same  decade ;  the  average 
population  is  taken  to  be  the  arithmetical  mean  of  the  totals  for 
two  successive  censuses. 

From  1850  to  1860  the  foreign-born  population  of  New  York 
increased  relatively  to  the  total  population  of  the  state,  but  the 
annual  average  number  of  convictions  during  the  decade  1851- 
1860  fell  below  the  average  for  1841-1850.  From  1870  to  1880 
the  number  of  foreign-born  decreased  relatively  to  the  total 
population ;  at  the  same  time  the  annual  rate  of  convictions  in- 
creased as  compared  with  the  preceding  decade.  From  1880  to 
1890  this  movement  was  reversed  :  the  foreign-born  population 
went  up  and  the  rate  of  criminality  went  down.  Again  from 
1890  to  1900  the  percentage  of  foreign-born  slightly  decreased, 
and  the  rate  of  criminality  showed  a  small  increase.  These 
tendencies  appear  still  more  pronounced,  if  we  compare  the  in- 
crease of  the  number  of  convictions  with  the  increase  of  the 
foreign-born  and  the  total  population  of  the  state  for_the  census 
years  1850-1900,  as  shown  in  Table  IV. 
















1850      .... 




1860     .... 

1,  60  1 






1870     .... 







1880     .... 







1890     .... 







1900     .... 







In  1860,  when  th,e  rate  of  increase  of  the  foreign-born  population 
was  at  its  apex,  the  rate  of  criminality  was  at  its  bottom.  Toward 
1870  the  rate  of  increase  of  the  foreign-born  dropped,  but  the 


rate  of  increase  of  the  number  of  convictions  made  a  big  jump. 
From  1880  to  1890  the  rate  of  increase  of  the  foreign-born  went 
up,  at  the  same  time  the  rate  of  increase  of  the  number  of  con- 
victions went  down.  From  1890  to  1900  the  two  movements  were 
reversed.  In  short,  an  increase  of  the  percentage  of  the  foreign-born 
population  is  accompanied  by  a  decrease  of  criminality,  and  vice  versa. 
This  fact  shows  that  the  same  conditions  which  attract  the 
immigrant  to  the  United  States  tend  to  reduce  the  rate  of  crim- 

Turning  to  the  statistics  of  crime  among  native  and  foreign- 
born,  we  find  them  summed  up  in  the  following  statement  of  the 
census  report  on  "Prisoners."     "From  these  figures  [i.e.,  from 
I   the  number  of  commitments],  as  well  as  from  those  for  prisoners 
!   enumerated  on  June  30,   1904,  it  is  evident  that  the  popular 
belief  that  the  foreign  born  are  filling  the  prisons  has  little  founda- 
tion in  fact." 

A  comparison  of  the  figures  for  1904  with  those  for  1890  shows 
j   that  the  ratio  of  foreign-born  among  the  white  prisoners  fell 
I  from  28.3  to  23.7  per  cent,  while  the  percentage  of  native  prisoners 
increased  from  71.8  to  76.3  per  cent  (op.  cit.,  p.  18). 

Is  there  any  evidence  of  a  change  in  this  respect  since  1904? 
This  question  can  best  be  answered  by  an  examination  into  the 
nativity  of  the  persons  convicted  in  1908  in  the  courts  of  record 
of  the  state  of  New  York.  The  year  1908,  as  stated,  showed  a 
marked  increase  of  crime,  and  of  all  states  the  state  of  New  York 
is  alleged  to  be  the  greatest  sufferer  from  the  influx  of  foreign 

The  nativity  of  the  persons  convicted  in  courts  of  record  in 
1908  was  as  follows : 

Natives  of  the  United  States 4,392 

Foreign-born 2,687 

Nativity  unknown 272 

Total  for  the  state 7,351 

To  compare  these  figures  with  the  distribution  of  the  population 
of  the  state  by  nativity,  it  must  be  noted  that  of  the  total  number 
of  prisoners  only  38  were  under  fifteen  years  of  age  and  only  361, 
or  5  per  cent,  were  women.  In  the  foreign-born  population, 
however,  the  percentages  of  children  under  15  and  of  women,  who 


contribute  very  few  criminals,  are  lower  than  among  the  native, 
while  the  percentage  of  males  fifteen  years  of  age  and  over  who 
contribute  the  bulk  of  criminals  is  higher  in  the  foreign-born 
than  in  the  native  population.  A  fair  comparison  should  con- 
sider only  the  ratio  of  male  offenders  fifteen  years  of  age  and  over 
to  the  total  male  population  of  the  same  age  groups.1 

Inasmuch  as  the  statistics  of  the  secretary  of  state  of  New  York 
contain  no  classification  of  the  native  and  foreign-born  offenders 
by  age  and  sex,  estimates  have  to  be  resorted  to.  The  number  of 
offenders  under  fifteen  years  being  very  small,  we  may  assume  that 
they  were  all  native  boys  and  deduct  their  number  from  that  of 
native  offenders ;  we  shall  thereby  reduce  the  rate  of  native  crimi- 
nality and  increase  relatively  the  percentage  of  foreign  criminals. 
The  number  of  foreign-born  male  offenders  would  be  further 
increased,  if  we  were  to  follow  the  same  method  with  regard  to 
female  offenders  and  charge  all  women  convicted  in  courts,  of 
record  to  the  group  of  native  offenders.  There  is  no  reason,  how- 
ever, to  assume  that  the  native  women  numerically  predominate 
among  female  offenders.  We  may  accordingly  assume  that  the 
percentage  of  foreign-born  among  female  offenders  is  the  same  as 
among  male  offenders. 

1  "If  the  general  population  of  all  ages  be  taken,  the  basis  for  the  comparison  will 
not  be  equitable  for  several  reasons.  Inmates  of  the  general  prisons  are  all  at  least 
ten  years  of  age  and  nearly  all  over  fifteen.  For  the  most  part  the  immigrants 
are  between  fifteen  and  forty  years  of  age.  The  number  of  children  under  ten 
years  of  age  is  extremely  small  among  the  white  immigrants  as  compared  with  the 
native  whites.  In  view  of  these  facts  a  comparison  of  the  proportions  of  each 
nativity  class  in  the  white  prison  population  with  the  corresponding  proportions  of 
the  general  population  of  all  ages  would  clearly  be  unfair,  for  the  inclusion  of  chil- 
dren under  ten  years  of  age  would  so  increase  the  proportion  of  native  in  the 
general  population  that  it  would  seem  as  if  crime  were  more  prevalent  among  the 
foreign-born  as  compared  with  the  native  white  than  is  actually  the  case.  .  .  . 
Of  the  whites  at  least  ten  years  of  age  in  the  general  population  of  the  United 
States  in  1900,  19.5  per  cent  were  foreign-born,  while  of  the  white  prisoners  of 
known  nativity  enumerated  on  June  30,  1904,  23.7  per  cent  were  foreign-born.  The 
foreign-born  element  therefore  appears  to  be  more  prominent  in  the  white  population 
of  prisons  than  in  the  general  white  population.  In  some  respects,  however,  a 
comparison  with  the  total  white  population  ten  years  of  age  and  over  is  hardly 
fair  to  the  foreign-born.  Very  few  prisoners  are  under  the  age  of  fifteen,  and  the 
great  majority  of  prisoners,  94.5  per  cent  of  the  total  number,  are  males.  There- 
fore it  is  perhaps  more  significant  when  the  percentage  of  foreign-born  among  white 
prisoners  is  compared  with  the  percentage  of  foreign-born  in  the  white  population 
fifteen  years  of  age  and  over,  classified  by  sex."  —  "  Prisoners  and  Juvenile  Delin- 
quents" (Census  report),  pp.  18-19. 


It  is  probable  that  of  the  272  convicted  persons  whose  nativity 
was  unknown  very  few  were  foreigners,  as  their  speech  and 
appearance  did  not  mark  them  as  such.  By  leaving  this  group 
out  of  consideration,  we  again  reduce  the  number  of  native 
offenders  relatively  to  the  foreign-born.  On  the  other  hand,  the 
census  figures  giving  the  distribution  of  the  population  by  nativity 
relate  to  the  year  1900,  whereas  the  phenomenal  immigration  of 
recent  years  must  have  increased  the  percentage  of  foreign-born 
in  the  population  of  the  state  of  New  York.  In  every  respect, 
therefore,  our  statistics  must  be  unfavorable  to  the  foreign-born. 
Let  us  now  compare  the  percentages  of  native  and  foreign-born 
among  all  offenders  fifteen  years  of  age  and  over,  whose  nativ- 
ity is  known,  and  among  the  male  population  of  the  state  in  the 
same  age  groups. 
















Foreign-born     .... 





Thus,  with  every  allowance  in  favor  of  the  native  and  against  the 
foreign-born,  the  ratio  of  foreign-born  criminals  is  only  2.7  per 
cent  in  excess  of  the  ratio  of  foreign-born  males  to  the  total 
male  population  of  the  state.  The  preceding  table  does  not 
include  the  more  numerous  class  of  minor  offenders  convicted  at 
Special  Sessions.  In  Table  VI  the  convictions  in  the  minor 
courts  in  1908  are  classified  by  character  of  offense  separately 
for  the  counties  of  New  York  and  Kings,  comprising  the  three 
most  densely  settled  boroughs  of  Manhattan,  Bronx,  and  Brook- 
lyn, and  for  the  rest  of  the  state.  The  population  of  these  three 
boroughs  in  1900  contained  1,207,000,  i.e.  nearly  two  thirds  of 
the  1,900,000  foreign-born  of  the  state  of  New  York.  The  per- 
centage of  foreign-born  in  these  three  boroughs  was  37.5,  while 



in  the  rest  of  the  state  of  New  York  it  was  only  17.1  per  cent. 
In  1908  the  percentage  of  foreign-born  in  New  York  City  was 
in  all  probability  considerably  higher  than  in  1900.  If  the  foreign- 
born  furnished  a  higher  percentage  of  criminals  than  the  native, 
this  tendency  should  loom  up  conspicuous  in  the  comparison 
between  greater  New  York  and  the  rest  of  the  state.  What  are 
the  facts  ? 



(In  thousands) 


Total  State 
New  York 

New  York 
and  Kings 


New  York 
and  Kings 

C  ounties 

Petit  larceny     
Assault,  third  degree      .     . 
All  other  offenses  .... 

Population,  1905   .... 












The  three  principal  boroughs  of  New  York  City  in  1905  contained 
nearly  one  half  of  the  population  of  the  state,  yet  they  furnished 
only  28  per  cent  of  all  convictions  for  assault  and  17.7  per  cent 
of  the  most  numerous  class  of  minor  offenses ;  petty  larceny 
was  the  only  offense  whose  frequency  was  proportionate  to  the 
population  of  the  great  city.  Thus,  though  the  three  boroughs 
had  twice  as  many  foreign-born  in  proportion  to  their  population 
as  the  rest  of  the  state,  New  York  City  had  relatively  no  more 
pickpockets  than  the  rest  of  the  state,  and  the  number  of  all 
other  minor  offenders  was  in  proportion  much  smaller  in  the 
three  boroughs  than  up  state.  And  that  in  a  year  which  broke 
the  record  of  crime. 

The  popular  opinion  that  the  immigrants  furnish  a  high  per- 
centage of  criminals  rests  upon  the  belief  that  this  country  is 
used  as  a  hiding  place  by  fugitive  criminals  from  all  quarters  of 
the  world.  There  are  no  statistics  relative  to  the  criminal  records 
of  the  immigrants  previous  to  their  admission  to  this  country. 
But  the  statistics  of  crime  in  the  state  of  New  York,  which  is 


said  to  hold  more  than  its  proportionate  share  of  the  lawless 
immigrants,  warrant  only  one  of  the  following  two  conclusions : 
Either  the  new  environment  enables  this  invading  army  of 
immigrants  with  criminal  records  to  keep  within  the  law ;  or  else 
the  criminal  classes  of  Europe,  contrary  to  the  popular  belief, 
furnish  less  than  their  proportionate  quota  of  immigrants  — 
which  is  quite  plausible,  since  the  criminals  belong  to  the  sub- 
merged portion  of  the  population  and  are  kept  at  home  by  want 
of  funds  with  which  to  pay  for  their  passage. 




ON  a  single  Chicago  hoarding,  before  the  spring  election  of 
1912,  the  writer  saw  the  political  placards  of  candidates 
with  the  following  names :  Kelly,  Cassidy,  Slattery,  Alschuler, 
Pfaelzer,  Bartzen,  Umbach,  Andersen,  Romano,  Knitckoff, 
Deneen,  Hogue,  Burres,  Short.  The  humor  of  calling  "  Anglo- 
Saxon"  the  kind  of  government  these  gentlemen  will  give  is. 
obvious.  At  that  time,  of  the  eighteen  principal  personages  / 
in  the  city  government  of  Chicago,  fourteen  had  Irish  names, 
and  three  had  German  names.  Of  the  eleven  principal  officials 
in  the  city  government  of  Boston,  nine  had  Irish  names,  and  of 
the  forty-nine  members  of  the  Lower  House  from  the  city  of 
Boston,  forty  were  obviously  of  Hibernian  extraction.  In  San 
Francisco,  the  mayor,  all  the  heads  of  the  municipal  depart- 
ments, and  ten  out  of  eighteen  members  on  the  board  of  super- 
visors, bore  names  reminiscent  of  the  Green  Isle.  As  far  back  as 
1871,  of  112  chiefs  of  police  from  twenty-two  States  who  attended 
the  national  police  convention,  seventy-seven  bore  Irish  names, 
and  eleven  had  German  names.  In  1881,  of  the  chiefs  of  police 
in  forty-eight  cities,  thirty-three  were  clearly  Irish,  and  five  were 
clearly  German. 

In  1908,  on  the  occasion  of  a  "  home-coming "  celebration  in 
Boston,  a  newspaper  told  how  the  returning  sons  of  Boston  were 
"greeted  by  Mayor  Fitzgerald  and  the  following  members 
of  Congress :  O'Connell,  Keliher,  Sullivan,  and  McNary  - 
following  in  the  footsteps  of  Webster,  Sumner,  Adams,  and 
Hoar.  They  were  told  of  the  great  work  as  Mayor  of  the  late 
beloved  Patrick  Collins.  At  the  City  Hall  they  found  the  sons 
of  Irish  exiles  and  immigrants  administering  the  affairs  of  the 

1  From  The  Century  Magazine,  January,  1914. 


metropolis  of  New  England.  Besides  the  Mayor,  they  were 
greeted  by  John  J.  Murphy,  Chairman  of  the  board  of  assessors, 
Commissioner  of  Streets  Doyle,  and  Commissioner  of  Baths 
O'Brien.  Mr.  Coakley  is  the  head  of  the  Park  Department,  and 
Dr.  Durgin  directs  the  Health  Department ;  the  Chief  of  the  Fire 
Department  is  John  A.  Mullen,  head  of  the  Municipal  Printing 
Plant  is  Mr.  Whelan,  Superintendent  of  the  Street  Cleaning 
is  Cummings ;  Superintendent  of  Sewers  is  Leahy ;  Superintend- 
ent of  Buildings  is  Nolan;  City  Treasurer,  Slattery;  Police 
Commissioner,  O'Meara." 

LThe  Irish  domination  of  our  Northern  cities  is  the  broadest 
ark  immigration  has  left  on  American  politics ;  the  immigrants 
from  Ireland,  for  the  most  part  excessively  poor,  never  got  their 
feet  upon  the  land  as  did  the  Germans  and  the  Scandinavians, 
but  remained  huddled  in  cities.  United  by  strong  race  feelings, 
they  held  together  as  voters,  and,  although  never  a  clear  majority, 
were  able  in  time  to  capture  control  of  most  of  the  greater  mu- 
nicipalities.  Now,  for  all  their  fine  Celtic  traits,  these  Irish  im- 
migrants had  neither  the  temperament  nor  the  training  to  make 
\  a  success  of  popular  government.  They  were  totally  without 
experience  of  the  kind  Americans  had  acquired  in  the  working 
of  democratic  institutions.  The  ordinary  American  by  this 
time  had  become  tinctured  with  the  spirit  of  legalism.  Many 
voters  were  able  to  look  beyond  the  persons  involved  in  a  political 
contest  and  recognize  the  principles  at  stake.  Such  popular 
maxims  as  :  "No  man  should  be  a  judge  in  his  own  case,"  "The 
ballot  a  responsibility,"  "Patriotism  above  party,"  "Measures, 
not  men,"  "A  public  office  is  a  public  trust,"  fostered  self-restraint 
and  helped  the  voters  to  take  an  impersonal,  long-range  view 
of  political  contests. 

Warm-hearted,  sociable,  clannish,  and  untrained,  the  natural- 
ized Irish  failed  to  respect  the  first  principles  of  civics.  "What 
is  the  Constitution  between  friends?"  expresses  their  point  of 
view.  In  their  eyes,  an  election  is  not  the  decision  of  a  great, 
impartial  jury,  but  a  struggle  between  the  "ins"  and  the  "outs." 
Those  who  vote  the  same  way  are  "friends."  To  scratch  or  to 
bolt  is  to  "go  back  on  your  friends."  Places  and  contracts  are 
"spoils."  The  official's  first  duty  is  to  find  berths  for  his  sup- 
porters. Not  fitness,  but  party  work,  is  one's  title  to  a  place  on 


the  municipal  pay  roll.  The  city  employee  is  to  serve  his  party 
rather  than  the  public  that  pays  his  salary.  Even  the  justice  of 
courts  is  to  become  a  matter  of  "pull"  and  "stand  in,"  rather 
than  of  inflexible  rules. 

A  genial  young  Harvard  man  who  has  made  the  Good  Govern- 
ment movement  a  power  in  a  certain  New  England  city  said 
to  me :  "The  Germans  want  to  know  which  candidate  is  better 
qualified  for  the  office.  Among  the  Irish  I  have  never  heard 
such  a  consideration  mentioned.  They  ask,  'Who  wants  this 
candidate?'  'Who  is  behind  him?'  I  have  lined  up  a  good 
many  Irish  in  support  of  Good  Government  men,  but  never  by 
setting  forth  the  merits  of  a  matter  or  a  candidate.  I  approach 
my  Irish  friends  with  the  personal  appeal,  'Do  this  for  me!' 
Nearly  all  the  Irish  who  support  our  cause  do  it  on  a  personal 
loyalty  basis.  The  best  of  the  Irish  in  this  city  have  often  done 
as  much  harm  to  the  cause  of  Good  Government  as  the  worst. 
Mayor  C.,  a  high-minded  Irishman  desiring  to  do  the  best  he 
could  for  the  city,  gave  us  as  bad  a  government  as  Mayor  F., 
who  thought  of  nothing  but  feathering  his  own  nest.  Mayor  C. 
'stood  by  his  f fiends. "; 

The  Hibernian  domination  has  given  our  cities  genial  officials, 
brave  policemen,  and  gallant  fire-fighters.  It  has  also  given  J 
them  the  name  of  being  the  worst-governed  cities  in  the  civilized ' 
world.  The  mismanagement  and  corruption  of  the  great  cities 
of  America  have  become  a  planetary  scandal,  and  have  dealt 
the  principle  of  manhood  suffrage  the  worst  blow  it  has  received 
in  the  last  half  century.  Since  the  close  of  the  Civil  War,  hun- 
dreds of  thousands  of  city  dwellers  have  languished  miserably 
or  perished  prematurely  from  the  bad  water,  bad  housing,  poor 
sanitation,  and  rampant  vice  in  American  municipalities  run 
on  the  principles  of  the  Celtic  clan. 

On  the  other  hand,  it  is  likely  that  our  British,  Teutonic, 
Scandinavian,  and  Jewish  naturalized  citizens  —  still  more  our 
English-Canadian  voters  —  have  benefited  American  politics. 
In  politics  men  are  swayed  by  passion,  prejudice,  or  reason. 
By  the  last  quarter  of  the  nineteenth  century,  the  average  Ameri- 
can had  come  to  be  on  his  guard  against  passion  in  politics,  but 
not  yet  had  he  reached  the  plane  of  reason.  This  left  him  the 
prey  of  prejudice.  Men  inherited  their  politics,  and  bragged  of 


having  always  " voted  straight."  They  voted  Democratic  for 
Jefferson's  sake,  or  Republican  from  love  of  Lincoln.  The  citi- 
zens followed  ruts,  while  the  selfish  interests  "followed  the  ball." 
Now,  the  intelligent  naturalized  foreigner,  having  inherited  none 
of  our  prejudices,  would  not  respond  to  ancient  cries  or  wartime 
issues.  He  inquired  pointedly  what  each  party  proposed  to  do 
now.  The  abandonment  of  " waving  the  bloody  shirt"  and  the 
sudden  appearance  of  the  politics  of  actuality  in  the  North,  in 
the  eighties,  came  about  through  the  naturalization  of  Karl  and 
Ole.  The  South  has  few  foreign-born  voters,  and  the  South  is 
precisely  that  part  of  the  country  in  which  the  reign  of  prejudice 
in  politics  has  longest  delayed  the  advent  of  efficient  and  progres- 
sive government. 

In  1910  there  were  certainly  three  million  naturalized  citizens 
in  the  United  States.  In  southern  New  England  and  New  York 
they  constitute  a  quarter  of  all  the  white  voters.  The  same  is 
true  of  Illinois  and  the  Old  Northwest.  In  Providence,  Buffalo, 
Newark,  St.  Paul,  and  Minneapolis,  there  are  two  foreign  voters 
to  three  native  white  voters.  In  Milwaukee,  Detroit,  Cleveland, 
and  Boston,  the  ratio  is  about  one  to  two.  In  Paterson,  Chicago, 
and  New  York,  the  ratio  is  nearer  three  to  five,  and  in  Fall  River 
it  is  three  to  four.  When  the  foreigners  are  intelligent  and  experi- 
enced in  the  use  of  the  "Ballot,  their  civic  worth  does  not  suffer 
by  comparison  with  that  of  the  natives.  Indianapolis  and  Kansas 
City,  in  which  the  natives  outnumber  the  naturalized  ten  to  one, 
do  not  overshadow  in  civic  excellence  the  Twin  Cities  of  Minne- 
sota, with  three  natives  to  two  naturalized.  Cleveland,  in  which 
the  naturalized  citizens  constitute  a  third,  is  politically  superior 
to  Cincinnati,  in  which  they  are  less  than  a  sixth.  Chicago,  with 
thrice  the  proportion  of  naturalized  citizens  Philadelphia  has, 
was  roused  and  struggling  with  the  python  of  corruption  while 
yet  the  city  by  the  Delaware  slept. 

The  machine  in  power  uses  the  foreigner  to  keep  in  power. 
The  Italian  who  opens  an  ice-cream  parlor  has  to  have  a  victual- 
er's  license,  and  he  can  keep  this  license  only  by  delivering  Italian 
votes.  The  Polish  saloon  keeper  loses  his  liquor  license  if  he  fails 
to  line  up  his  fellow-countrymen  for  the  local  machine.  The 
politician  who  can  get  dispensations  for  the  foreigners  who  want 
their  beer  on  a  Sunday  picnic  is  the  man  who  attracts  the  foreign 


vote.  Thus,  until  they  get  their  eyes  open  and  see  how  they  are 
being  used,  the  foreigners  constitute  an  asset  of  the  established 
political  machine,  neutralizing  the  antimachine  ballots  of  an 
equal  number  of  indignant  American  voters. 

The  saloon  is  often  an  independent  sway  of  the  foreign  vote. 
The  saloon  keeper  is  interested  in  fighting  all  legal  regulation 
of  his  own  business,  and  of  other  businesses  —  gambling,  dance 
halls,  and  prostitution  —  which  stimulate  drinking.  If  "blue" 
laws  are  on  the  statute  book,  these  interests  may  combine  to  seat 
in  the  mayor's  chair  a  man  pledged  not  to  enforce  them.  Even 
if  the  saloon  keeper  has  no  political  ax  of  his  own  to  grind, 
his  masters,  the  brewers,  will  insist  that  he  get  out  the  vote  for 
the  benefit  of  themselves  or  their  friends.  Since  liberal  plying 
with  beer  is  a  standard  means  of  getting  out  the  foreign  vote,  the 
immigrant  saloon  keeper  is  obliged  to  become  the  debaucher 
and  betrayer  of  his  fellow-countrymen.  In  Chicago  the  worthy 
Germans  and  Bohemians  are  marshaled  in  the  "United  Societies," 
ostensibly  social  organizations  along  nationality  lines,  but  really 
the  machinery  through  which  the  brewers  and  liquor  dealers 
may  sway  a  foreign-born  vote  not  only  in  defense  of  liquor,  but 
also  in  defense  of  other  corrupt  and  affiliated  interests. 

The  foreign  press  is  another  means  of  misleading  the  naturalized 
voters.  These  newspapers,  —  Polish,  Bohemian,  Italian,  Greek, 
Yiddish,  etc., — while  they  have  no  small  influence  with  their 
readers,  are  poorly  supported,  and  often  in  financial  straits. 
Many  of  them,  therefore,  can  be  tempted  to  sell  their  political 
influence  to  the  highest  bidder,  which  is,  of  course,  the  party 
representing  the  special  interests.  Thus  the  innocent  foreign- 
born  readers  are  led  like  sheep  to  the  shambles,  and  Privilege 
gains  another  intrenching-tool. 


If  the  immigrant  is  neither  debauched  nor  misled,  but  votes 
his  opinions,  is  he  then  an  element  of  strength  to  us  ? 

When  a  people  has  reached  such  a  degree  of  political  like- 
mindedness  that  fundamentals  are  taken  for  granted,  it  is  free 
to  tackle  new  questions  as  they  come  up.  But  if  it  admits  to 
citizenship  myriads  of  strangers  who  have  not  yet  passed  the 



civic  kindergarten,  questions  that  were  supposed  to  be  settled 
are  reopened.  The  citizens  are  made  to  thresh  over  again  old 
straw  —  the  relation  of  church  to  state,  of  church  to  school, 
of  state  to  parent,  of  law  to  the  liquor  trade.  Meanwhile,  ripe 
sheaves  ready  to  yield  the  wheat  of  wisdom  under  the  flails  of 
discussion  lie  untouched.  Pressing  questions  —  public  hygiene, 
conservation,  the  control  of  monopoly,  the  protection  of  labor 
V  —  go  to  the  foot  of  the  docket,  and  public  interests  suffer. 

Some  are  quite  cheerful  about  the  confusion,  cross-purposes, 
and  delay  that  come  with  heterogeneity,  because  they  think 
the  variety  of  views  introduced  by  immigration  is  a  fine  thing, 
"keeps  us  from  getting  into  a  rut."  The  plain  truth  is,  that 
rarely  does  an  immigrant  bring  in  his  intellectual  baggage  any- 
thing of  use  to  us.  The  music  of  Mascagni  and  Debussy,  the 
plays  of  Ibsen  and  Maeterlinck,  the  poetry  of  Rostand  and 
Hauptmann,  the  fiction  of  Jokai  and  Sienkiewicz  were  not  brought 
to  us  by  way  of  Ellis  Island.  What  we  want  is  not  ideas  merely, 
but  fruitful  ideas,  fructifying  ideas.  By  debating  the  ideas  of 
Nietzsche,  Ostwald,  Bergson,  MetchnikofT,  or  Ellen  Key,  Ameri- 
can thought  is  stimulated.  But  should  we  gain  from  the  intro- 
duction of  old  Asiatic  points  of  view,  which  would  reopen  such 
questions  as  witchcraft,  child-marriage,  and  suttee?  The  flash- 
ings that  arise  from  the  presence  among  us  of  many  voters  with 
medieval  minds  are  sheer  waste  of  energy.  While  we  Americans 
wrangle  over  the  old  issues  of  clericalism,  separate  schools,  and 
"personal  liberty,"  the  little  homogeneous  peoples  are  forging 
ahead  of  us  in  rational  politics  and  learning  to  look  pityingly 
upon  us  as  a  chaos  rather  than  a  people. 


If  you  should  ask  an  Englishman  whether  the  tone  of  political 
life  in  his  country  would  remain  unaffected  by  the  admission 
to  the  electorate  of  a  couple  of  million  Cypriotes,  Vlachs,  and 
Bessarabians  after  five  years'  residence,  he  would  take  you  for 
a  madman.  Suggest  to  the  German  that  the  plane  of  political 
intelligence  in  reading  and  thinking  Germany  would  not  be  low- 
ered by  the  access  to  the  ballot  box  of  multitudes  of  Serbs, 
Georgians,  and  Druses  of  Lebanon,  and  he  will  consign  you  to 


bedlam.  Assure  the  son  of  Norway  that  the  vote  of  the  Persian 
or  Yemenite,  of  sixty  months'  residence  in  Norway,  will  be  as 
often  wise  and  right  as  his  own,  and  he  will  be  insulted.  It  is 
only  we  Americans  who  assume  that  the  voting  of  the  Middle 
Atlantic  States,  with  their  million  naturalized  citizens,  or  of  the 
East  North  Central  States,  with  their  million,  is  as  sane,  discrimi- 
nating, and  forward-looking  as  it  would  be  without  them. 

The  Italian  historian  and  sociologist  Ferrero,  after  reviewing 
our  immigration  policy,  concludes  that  the  Americans,  far  from 
being  "practical,"  are  really  the  mystics  of  the  modern  world. 

He  says : 


To  confer  citizenship  each  year  upon  great  numbers  of  men 
born  and  educated  in  foreign  countries  —  men  who  come  with  ideas 
and  sympathies  totally  out  of  spirit  with  the  diverse  conditions  in 
the  new  country ;  to  grant  them  political  rights  they  do  not  want, 
and  of  which  they  have  never  thought;  to  compel  them  to  declare 
allegiance  to  a  political  constitution  which  they  often  do  not  under- 
stand ;  to  try  to  transform  subjects  of  old  European  monarchies  into ' 
free  citizens  of  young  American  republics  over  night  —  is  not  all 
this  to  do  violence  to  common  sense? 



THIS  feature  of  the  Immigration  Commission's  general  report 
is  a  brief  review  of  the  sentiment  toward  immigration  as 
expressed  in  legislation,  or  attempts  at  legislation,  upon  the 
subject  in  Congress.  For  convenience,  the  review  is  divided  into 
four  periods,  namely  :  From  colonial  times  to  183*5  >  the  "Native 
American"  and  "Know-Nothing"  period,  1835-1860;  end  of 
state  control,  1861-1882 ;  period  of  national  control,  1882  to 
the  present  time. 

During  the  period  first  mentioned  immigration  was  taken  as  a 
matter  of  course ;  the  only  legislation  enacted,  and  practically  all 
that  was  proposed,  was  the  law  of  1819  for  the  regulation  of  the 
carriage  of  steerage  passengers  at  sea,  which  law  also  for  the  first 
time  provided  that  statistics  relative  to  immigration  to  the  United 
States  be  recorded. 


The  second  period,  from  1835  to  T86o,  is  sharply  defined  by  the 
so-called  " Native  American"  and  "Know-Nothing"  movement, 
which,  as  is  well  known,  were  largely  based  on  opposition  to  the 
immigration  of  Catholics.  The  hostility  early  took  the  form  of  a 
political  movement,  and  in  1835  there  was  a  Nativist  candidate 
for  Congress  in  New  York  City,  and  in  the  following  year  that 
party  nominated  a  candidate  for  mayor  of  the  same  city.  In 
Germantown,  Pennsylvania,  and  in  Washington,  D.  C.,  Nativist 
societies  were  formed  in  1837,  while  in  Louisiana  the  movement 
was  organized  in  1839  and  a  state  convention  was  held  two  years 
later.  It  was  at  this  convention  that  the  Native  American  party, 
under  the  name  of  the  American  Republican  party,  was  established. 

In  1845  ^e  Nativist  movement  claimed  48,000  members  in 
New  York,  42,000  in  Pennsylvania,  14,000  in  Massachusetts, 
and  6000  in  other  States,  while  in  Congress  it  had  six 



Representatives  from  New  York  and  two  from  Pennsylvania. 
The  first  national  convention  of  Native  Americans  was  held  in 
Philadelphia  in  1845,  when  141  delegates  were  present  and  a 
national  platform  was  adopted.  The  chief  demands  of  this  con- 
vention were  a  repeal  of  the  naturalization  laws  and  the  ap- 
pointment of  native  Americans  only  to  office . 

While  these  societies  were  stronger  in  local  politics  than  in 
national,  and  were  organized  chiefly  to  aid  in  controlling  local 
affairs,  their  few  representatives  in  Congress  attempted  to  make 
Nativism  a  national  question.  As  a  result  of  their  efforts,  the 
United  States  Senate  in  1836  agreed  to  a  resolution  directing  the 
Secretary  of  State  to  collect  certain  information  respecting  the 
immigration  of  foreign  paupers  and  criminals.  In  the  House  of 
Representatives  on  February  19,  1838,  a  resolution  was  agreed  to 
which  provided  that  the  Committee  on  the  Judiciary  be  instructed 
to  consider  the  expediency  of  revising  the  naturalization  laws  so 
as  to  require  a  longer  term  of  residence  in  the  United  States,  and 
also  provide  greater  security  against  frauds  in  the  process  of 
obtaining  naturalization.  The  committee  was  further  instructed 
to  consider  the  propriety  and  expediency  of  providing  by  law 
against  the  introduction  into  the  United  States  of  vagabonds  and 
paupers  deported  from  foreign  countries.  This  resolution  was 
referred  to  a  select  committee  of  seven  members,  and  its  report 
was  the  first  resulting  from  a  congressional  investigation  of 
any  question  bearing  upon  immigration.  Four  members  of  the 
committee  were  from  New  York  and  Massachusetts,  which  were 
then  the  chief  centers  of  the  antiforeign  movement,  and  its 
report  recommended  immediate  legislative  action,  not  only  by 
Congress,  but  also  by  many  of  the  states,  so  that  alleged  evils 
could  be  remedied  and  impending  calamities  averted.  Two 
southern  members  of  the  committee  and  the  member  from  Ohio 
did  not  concur  in  the  report.  It  is  interesting  to  note  that  a 
recommendation  to  this  committee  by  the  Native  American 
Association  of  Washington  urged  that  a  system  of  consular 
inspection  be  instituted,  a  plan  that  in  recent  years  has  been 
repeatedly  recommended  to  Congress.  The  plan  was  to  make 
the  immigrant,  upon  receiving  his  passport  from  the  consul,  pay 
a  tax  of  $20.  The  committee,  however,  did  not  include  this 
provision  in  its  recommendations  to  Congress. 


The  bill  presented  on  recommendation  of  the  committee  pro- 
vided that  any  master  taking  on  board  his  vessel  with  the  inten- 
tion of  transporting  to  the  United  States  any  alien  passenger 
who  was  an  idiot,  lunatic,  maniac,  or  one  afflicted  with  any 
incurable  disease,  or  any  one  convicted  of  an  infamous  crime, 
should  be  fined  $1000,  or  be  imprisoned  not  less  than  one  year 
nor  more  than  three.  It  was  further  provided  that  the  master 
should  forfeit  #1000  for  any  alien  brought  in  who  had  not  the 
ability  to  maintain  himself.  Congress  did  not  even  consider 
this  bill,  and  during  the  next  ten  years  little  attempt  was  made 
to  secure  legislation  against  the  foreigner. 

In  the  message  to  Congress  on  June  i,  1841,  President  Tyler 
referred  to  immigration  in  part  as  follows : 

We  hold  out  to  the  people  of  other  countries  an  invitation  to  come 
and  settle  among  us  as  members  of  our  rapidly  growing  family ;  and 
for  the  blessings  which  we  offer  them,  we  require  of  them  to  look 
upon  our  country  as  their  country,  and  unite  with  us  in  the  great  task 
of  preserving  our  institutions  and  thereby  perpetuating  our  liberties. 


As  a  consequence  of  the  sudden  and  great  increase  of  immigra- 
tion from  Europe  between  1848  and  1850,  the  old  dread  of  the 
foreigner  was  revived,  and  in  the  early  fifties  the  native  Americans 
again  became  active.  The  new,  like  the  earlier  movement,  was 
closely  associated  with  the  anti-Catholic  propaganda.  The  new 
organization  assumed  the  form  of  a  secret  society.  It  was 
organized  probably  in  1850  in  New  York  City,  and  in  1852  it 
was  increased  in  membership  by  drawing  largely  from  the  old 
established  Order  of  United  Americans.  Its  meetings  were 
secret,  its  indorsements  were  never  made  openly,  and  even  its 
name  and  purpose  were  said  to  be  known  only  to  those  who 
reached  the  highest  degree.  Consequently  the  rank  and  file, 
when  questioned  about  their  party,  was  obliged  to  answer,  "  I 
f  don't  know" ;  so  they  came  to  be  called  "  Know-No  things." 

By  1854  much  of  the  organization's  secret  character  had  been 
discarded.   Its  name  —  Order  of  the  Star  Spangled  Banner  - 
and  its  meeting  places  were  known,  and  it  openly  indorsed  can- 
didates for  office  and  put  forth  candidates  of  its  own.   It  is 


recorded  that  in  1855  in  New  Hampshire,  Massachusetts,  Rhode 
Island,  Connecticut,  New  York,  California,  and  Kentucky  the 
governors  and  legislature  were  "Know-Nothings,"  while  the 
party  had  secured  the  choice  of  the  land  commissioner  of  Texas 
and  the  legislature  and  comptroller  of  Maryland,  and  had  almost 
carried  the  States  of  Virginia,  Georgia,  Alabama,  Massachusetts, 
Louisiana,  and  Texas. 

Encouraged  by  its  success  in  local  affairs,  the  "Know-Nothing " 
party  in  1855  began  to  make  plans  for  the  presidential  election. 
In  that  year  a  national  council  was  held  at  Philadelphia.  A  plat- 
form was  adopted  which  called  for  a  change  in  the  existing  natural- 
ization laws,  the  repeal  by  the  legislatures  of  several  States  of 
laws  allowing  foreigners  not  naturalized  to  vote,  and  also  for  a 
repeal  by  Congress  of  all  acts  making  grants  of  land  to  unnatural- 
ized  foreigners  and  allowing  them  to  vote  in  the  Territories. 

In  the  following  year  a  national  convention  of  the  party  was 
held  in  Philadelphia,  and  27  States  were  represented  by  227 
delegates.  Nearly  all  the  delegates  from  New  England,  Ohio, 
Pennsylvania,  Illinois,  and  Iowa  withdrew  from  the  convention 
when  a  motion  was  made  to  nominate  a  candidate  for  President. 
The  withdrawing  minority  wanted  an  antislavery  plank. 
Those  remaining  nominated  Millard  Fillmore  for  President. 
The  principles  of  the  platform  adopted  at  this  convention  were 
that  Americans  must  rule  America,  and  to  this  end  native-born 
citizens  should  be  selected  for  all  state,  federal,  and  municipal 
government  employment  in  preference  to  all  others.  A  change 
in  the  laws  of  naturalization,  making  continued  residence  of 
twenty-one  years  an  indispensable  requisite  for  citizenship,  and 
a  law  excluding  all  paupers  or  persons  convicted  of  crime  from 
landing  in  the  United  States,  were  demanded. 

Millard  Fillmore  was  also  nominated  for  the  presidency  by  the 
Whig  party  in  a  convention  held  the  following  September,  but 
the  Whigs  did  not,  however,  adopt  the  platform  of  the  "Know- 
Nothings,"  and  even  referred  to  "the  peculiar  doctrines  of  the 
party  which  has  already  selected  Mr.  Fillmore  as  a  candidate." 
At  the  November  election  in  1856  Mr.  Fillmore  received  only 
874,534  votes,  carrying  but  one  State,  Maryland;  and  it  is 
impossible  to  say  how  many  of  these  votes  were  due  to  the  fact 
that  he  was  a  candidate  of  the  "Know-Nothing"  party. 



The  "  Know-No  thing "  strength  in  Congress  was  said  to  have 
been  greatest  in  the  Thirty-fourth  Congress,  1854  to  1856.  They 
had  no  openly  avowed  representatives  in  the  Thirty-third  Con- 
gress, while  in  the  Thirty-fourth  they  claimed  43  Representatives 
and  5  Senators,  aside  from  70  Republicans  who  were  said  to  be 
members  of  "Know-Nothing"  councils.  In  the  Thirty-fifth 
Congress  the  "Know-Nothings"  claimed  5  Senators  and  14 
Representatives,  and  about  the  same  number  were  in  the  Thirty- 
sixth  and  Thirty-seventh;  but  in  the  Thirty-eighth  Congress 
the  party  was  not  represented  in  either  branch. 

Being  in  a  minority  in  Congress,  the  "Know-Nothings"  had 
but  little  influence  on  national  legislation,  although  they  made 
several  attempts  in  this  regard.  In  naturalization  bills  introduced 
they  proposed  to  lengthen  the  period  of  residence,  usually  demand- 
ing that  it  be  made  twenty-one  years,  but  their  proposed  laws 
affecting  immigration  were,  as  a  rule,  only  directed  against  the 
immigration  of  foreign  paupers  and  criminals. 


It  has  been  said  that  the  "Know-Nothings"  disappeared  with- 
out having  accomplished  anything  against  immigration,  adopted 
citizens,  or  Catholics,  but  that,  as  a  matter  of  fact,  some  national 
legislation  favorable  to  foreigners  was  passed  during  this  period 
of  agitation.  In  1847,  and  again  in  1848,  the  passenger  law  of 
1819  was  amended  in  order  to  improve  conditions  in  the  steerage 
of  immigrant  ships.  The  avowed  purpose  of  these  laws  and 
amendments  was  to  protect  immigrants  from  dangers  incident 
to  the  travel  of  that  day,  and  the  "Native  Americans"  and 
"  Know-No  things  "  were  opposed  to  these  laws. 

The  act  organizing  the  Territories  of  Nebraska  and  Kansas, 
passed  in  1854,  was  also  favorable  to  foreigners,  it  being  provided 
that  the  right  of  suffrage  in  such  Territories  should  be  exercised 
by  those  declaring  their  intentions  to  become  citizens  and  taking 
an  oath  to  support  the  Constitution  of  the  United  States  and  the 
provisions  of  the  act.  During  the  discussion  of  the  homestead 
act  in  1854,  which  act,  however,  was  not  finally  passed  until  1862, 


there  was  considerable  reference  to  immigrants  and  to  whether 
they  should  be  allowed  to  enjoy  the  advantages  of  the  act.  The 
"  Know-No  things"  proposed  to  strike  out  the  section  of  the  bill 
permitting  the  granting  of  land  to  foreigners  who  had  filed  their 
intentions  of  becoming  citizens,  but  the  attempt  failed. 


Although  the  National  Government  did  not  assume  control  of 
immigration  until  1882,  Congress  in  1864  passed  a  law  to  en- 
courage immigration.  This  law,  which  was  repealed  in  1868, 
represents  the  only  attempt  of  the  Government  to  promote 
immigration  by  direct  legislation,  although  the  States  have 
frequently  made  such  attempts.  In  his  annual  message  to  the 
first  session  of  the  Thirty-seventh  Congress  President  Lincoln 
favored  a  scheme  of  the  Territories  for  encouraging  immigra- 
tion, and  in  a  subsequent  message,  December  8,  1863,  he 
strongly  recommended  national  legislation  of  the  same  nature. 


In  the  House  of  Representatives  this  part  of  President  Lincoln's 
message  was  referred  to  a  select  committee  of  five  members,  and 
the  following  April  this  committee  brought  in  a  bill  to  jncourage 
immigration.  In  recommending  the  passage  of  the  bill  the  com- 
mittee said  that  the  vast  number  of  laboring  men,  estimated  at 
one  million  and  a  quarter,  who  had  left  their  peaceful  pursuits 
and  gone  forth  in  defense  of  the  Government  had  created  a 
vacuum  which  was  becoming  seriously  felt  in  every  part  of  the 
United  States,  and  that  never  before  in  the  history  of  the  country 
had  there  existed  such  a  demand  for  labor.  The  conclusion  was 
that  the  demand  for  labor  could  be  supplied  only  by  immigration. 
The  bill,  which  became  a  law  July  4,  1864,  provided  for  the 
appointment  by  the  President  of  a  Commissioner  of  Immigration, 
to  be  under  the  direction  of  the  Department  of  State,  and  that 
all  contracts  that  should  be  made  in  foreign  countries  by  emi- 
grants to  the  United  States  whereby  emigrants  pledged  the  wages 
of  their  labor  for  a  term  not  exceeding  twelve  months  to  repay 
the  expenses  of  emigration,  should  be  held  to  be  valid  in  law 
and  might  be  enforced  in  the  courts  of  the  United  States  or  by 


the  several  States  and  Territories,  and  that  no  such  contract 
could  in  any  way  be  considered  as  creating  a  condition  of  slavery 
or  servitude.  An  immigration  office  was  to  be  established  in  New 
York  City,  in  charge  of  a  superintendent  of  immigration,  who  was 
charged  with  arranging  for  the  transportation  of  immigrants  to 
their  final  destination  and  protecting  them  from  imposition  and 

Following  the  enactment  of  the  law  of  1864  several  companies 
were  established  to  deal  in  immigrant  contract  labor,  but  they 
were  not  satisfied  with  the  law  and  wanted  its  scope  enlarged. 
In  1866  the  House  of  Representatives  passed  a  bill  amending 
the  act  of  1864,  the  principal  provision  of  the  bill  being  to  in- 
crease the  number  of  commissioners  of  immigration,  the  additional 
commissioners  to  be  stationed  in  several  cities  along  the  Atlantic 
coast.  The  Senate,  however,  did  not  agree  to  the  amendment. 
The  law  itself  was  even  declared  impolitic,  if  not  unconstitutional, 
and  at  one  time  was  in  danger  of  repeal.  The  operations  of  the 
immigration  office  in  New  York  were  attacked,  the  charge  being 
made  that  the  commissioner  of  immigration  there  had  done  little 
but  to  cooperate  with  the  American  Emigrant  Company  to 
render  its  work  efficient  and  enable  it,  through  the  power  of 
the  Central  Government,  to  enforce  the  contracts  which  it  made 
in  foreign  countries  for  the  importation  of  immigrant  labor. 

About  this  time  one  of  the  first  official  protests  against  using 
the  United  States  as  a  dumping  ground  for  criminals  by  for- 
eign governments  was  entered  by  Congress,  the  following  joint 
resolution  being  passed  and  approved  by  the  President  on 
April  17,  1866 : 

Whereas  it  appears  from  official  correspondence  that  the  authorities 
of  Baseland,  a  Canton  of  Switzerland,  have  recently  undertaken  to 
pardon  a  person  convicted  of  murder  on  the  condition  that  he  would 
emigrate  to  the  United  States,  and  there  is  reason  to  believe  that  similar 
pardons  of  persons  convicted  of  infamous  offenses  have  been  granted 
in  other  countries :  Now,  therefore, 

Resolved  by  the  Senate,  etc.,  That  the  Congress  of  the  United  States 
protests  against  such  acts  as  unfriendly  and  inconsistent  with  the 
comity  of  nations,  and  hereby  requests  the  President  of  the  United 
States  to  cause  a  copy  of  this  protest  to  be  communicated  to  the  repre- 
sentatives of  the  United  States  in  foreign  countries,  with  instructions 


to  present  to  the  governments  where  they  are  accredited,  respectively, 
and  to  insist  that  no  such  acts  shall,  under  any  circumstances,  be 

In  the  Fortieth  Congress  two  bills  were  introduced  providing  for 
agencies  for  the  promotion  of  immigration,  to  be  located  in  Great 
Britain,  Germany,  Sweden,  and  Norway.  For  these  two  bills  the 
House  substituted  one  which  provided  that  the  work  to  be  done 
by  these  special  agents  be  done  instead  by  United  States  consuls. 
No  favorable  action  was  taken,  however,  and  the  brief  period  of 
national  encouragement  of  immigration  was  over  when,  on  March 
4,  1868,  the  law  of  1864  was  repealed  by  a  clause  in  the  consular 
and  diplomatic  act. 


In  the  Forty-first  Congress  the  campaign  against  contracting 
for  foreign  labor  first  began,  a  bill  being  introduced  which  was  the 
exact  opposite  of  the  law  of  1864.  This  bill,  which  was  not  acted 
upon,  provided  that  any  contract  made  in  foreign  countries 
whereby  immigrants  pledged  service  or  labor  to  be  performed 
upon  arrival  in  the  United  States  should  not  be  enforced  in  any 
federal  or  state  court. 

Proceedings  in  Congress  the  next  few  years,  while  showing  the 
general  sentiment  against  the  importation  of  contract  labor, 
although  in  favor  of  the  immigration  of  worthy  foreigners,  are 
interesting  chiefly  as  showing  the  circumstances  which  led  to  the 
change  of  control  of  immigration  from  the  various  States  to  the 
National  Government. 

On  May  31, 1870,  an  act  to  enforce  the  rights  of  citizens  to  vote 
in  the  several  States  and  for  other  purposes  was  approved.  This 
act  provided  that  no  tax  should  be  imposed  or  enforced  by  any 
State  upon  any  person  immigrating  thereto  from  a  foreign  country 
which  was  not  imposed  upon  every  person  immigrating  to  such 
State  from  any  other  foreign  country.  This  is  interesting  here 
simply  as  showing  that  at  this  time  Congress  regarded  the  levying 
of  a  head  tax  on  foreign  immigrants  as  a  legitimate  field  for  state 

In  his  annual  message  to  Congress,  December  4, 1871,  President 
Grant  suggested  congressional  action  for  the  protection  of 


immigrants,  saying  that  it  seemed  to  him  a  fair  subject  of 
legislation  by  Congress.  Later,  in  the  same  session,  he  sent  a 
special  message  to  Congress  upon  the  subject  of  immigration  in 
which  he  urged  national  control,  saying  in  part : 

I  do  not  advise  national  legislation  in  affairs  that  should  be  regulated 
by  the  States ;  but  I  see  no  subject  more  national  in  its  character  than 
provision  for  the  safety  and  welfare  of  the  thousands  who  leave 
foreign  lands  to  become  citizens  of  this  Republic.  When  their  resi- 
dence is  chosen  they  may  then  look  to  the  laws  of  their  locality  for 
protection  and  guidance. 


At  about  this  period  several  bills  were  introduced  for  the 
promotion  of  immigration  and  the  protection  of  immigrants,  and 
the  Senate  Committee  on  Commerce  reported  a  bill  which  pro- 
vided for  the  appointment  of  a  Commissioner  of  Immigration; 
the  levying  of  a  head  tax  of  $i  on  each  immigrant  passenger 
landed  in  lieu  of  a  head  tax  imposed  by  States ;  and  the  exclusion 
of  criminals.  The  bill  in  question  did  not  pass,  but  in  1875  a 
law  was  enacted  which  provided  for  the  exclusion  of  prostitutes. 
The  law  in  which  this  provision  was  contained,  however,  was 
designed  chiefly  to  regulate  Chinese  immigration.  The  messages 
of  President  Grant  and  the  debates  in  Congress  evidently  indi- 
cated a  strong  sentiment  in  favor  of  national  control  of  immigra- 
tion, and  in  1876  a  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  practically  left 
no  alternative. 


Before  the  decision  of  1876  above  referred  to  various  questions 
relating  to  the  subject  of  immigration  had  been  considered  by  the 
Supreme  Court  of  the  United  States.  The  first  of  these  cases  was 
that  of  the  State  of  New  York  v.  Miln.  This  case  tested  the 
constitutionality  of  a  law  passed  by  the  legislature  of  New  York 
State  in  1824,  requiring  all  masters  of  vessels  arriving  at  the 
port  of  New  York  to  make  a  report  in  writing  and  give  the  name, 
age,  and  the  last  legal  residence  of  every  person  on  board  during 
the  voyage,  and  stating  whether  any  of  his  passengers  had  gone 
on  board  any  other  vessel  or  had  been  landed  at  any  place  with  a 
view  to  proceeding  to  New  York.  Another  section  of  the  law 


made  it  lawful  for  the  mayor  of  the  city  to  require  a  bond  from 
every  master  of  a  vessel  to  indemnify  the  mayor  and  the  overseer 
of  the  poor  from  any  expense  incurred  for  passengers  brought 
in  and  not  reported.  The  United  States  Supreme  Court  held 
that  the  New  York  act  was  not  a  regulation  of  commerce,  but  of 
police ;  and,  being  so,  it  was  in  exercise  of  a  power  which  right- 
fully belonged  to  the  State. 

Justice  Story  dissented  from  the  decision  of  the  court,  declared 
the  law  unconstitutional,  and  said,  in  part : 

The  result  of  the  whole  reasoning  is  that  whatever  restrains  or  pre- 
vents the  introduction  or  importation  of  passengers  or  goods  into  the 
country  authorized  or  allowed  by  Congress,  whether  in  the  shape  of 
a  tax  or  other  charge,  or  whether  before  or  after  their  arrival  in  port, 
interferes  with  the  exclusive  right  to  regulate  commerce. 

This  law  being  held  to  be  constitutional,  New  York,  in  1829,  in 
providing  for  the  support  of  the  marine  and  quarantine  hospital 
established  on  Staten  Island,  ordered  that  the  health  com- 
missioner should  collect  from  the  master  of  every  vessel  arriving 
from  a  foreign  port  $1.50  for  every  cabin  passenger ;  $i  for  every 
steerage  passenger,  mate,  sailor,  or  marine;  and  25  cents  for 
every  person  arriving  on  coasting  vessels.  .The  money  so  col- 
lected, after  deducting  2  per  cent,  was  all  to  be  used  for  the  benefit 
of  the  above-named  hospital. 

In  1837  Massachusetts  enacted  a  law  which  provided  for  an 
inspection  of  arriving  alien  passengers  and  required  a  bond  from 
the  owner  of  the  vessel  bringing  such  aliens  as  security  that  such 
of  these  passengers,  incompetent  in  the  eyes  of  the  inspectors  to 
earn  a  living,  should  not  become  a  public  charge  within  ten 
years.  It  also  provided  that  $2  be  paid  for  each  passenger 
landed,  the  money  so  collected  to  be  used  for  the  support  of  for- 
eign paupers. 

In  1849  these  two  legislative  acts  were  declared  unconstitutional 
by  the  Supreme  Court,  in  what  are  known  as  the  "Passenger 

Immediately  after  the  decision  of  the  Supreme  Court  the  New 
York  statute  was  modified  with  a  view  to  avoiding  the  constitu- 
tional objection.  As  modified  the  law  provided  that  the  master 
or  owner  of  every  vessel  landing  passengers  from  a  foreign  port 


was  bound  to  make  a  report  similar  to  the  one  recited  in  the 
statute  declared  to  be  valid  in  the  case  of  New  York  v.  Miln, 
in  which  report  the  mayor  was  to  indorse  a  demand  upon  the 
owner  or  master  that  he  give  a  bond  for  every  passenger  landed 
in  the  city  to  indemnify  the  commissioners  of  immigration,  and 
every  county,  city,  and  town  in  the  State  against  any  expense 
for  the  relief  or  support  of  the  person  named  in  the  bond  for 
four  years  thereafter;  but  the  owner  could  commute  for  such 
bond  and  be  released  from  giving  it  by  paying  $1.50  for  each 
passenger  landed. 

In  several  other  States  similar  laws  were  in  force.  Cases  were 
brought  up  to  the  Supreme  Court  from  New  York,  California, 
and  Louisiana,  and  the  laws  were  declared  unconstitutional. 
Mr.  Justice  Miller,  who  delivered  the  opinion,  said  in  part : 

It  is  a  law  in  its  purpose  and  effect  imposing  a  tax  on  the  owner  of 
the  vessel  for  the  privilege  of  landing  in  New  York  from  foreign  coun- 
tries. ...  A  law  or  rule  emanating  from  any  lawful  authority  which 
prescribes  terms  or  conditions  on  which  alone  the  vessel  can  discharge 
its  passengers  is  a  regulation  of  commerce ;  and  in  the  case  of  vessels 
and  passengers  coming  from  foreign  ports  is  a  regulation  of  foreign 

The  most  interesting  part  of  this  decision,  however,  was  that 
in  which  the  court  recommended  that  Congress  exercise  full 
authority  over  immigration,  saying : 

We  are  of  the  opinion  that  this  whole  subject  has  been  confided  to 
Congress  by  the  Constitution ;  that  Congress  can  more  appropriately 
and  with  more  acceptance  exercise  it  than  any  other  body  known  to 
our  law,  state  or  national ;  that  by  providing  a  system  of  laws  in  these 
matters  applicable  to  all  ports  and  to  all  vessels,  a  serious  question 
which  has  long  been  a  matter  of  contest  and  complaint  may  be  effec- 
tively and  satisfactorily  settled. 


By  the  above  decision  the  States  were  left  without  the  means, 
except  by  taxing  their  own  citizens,  of  providing  suitable  in- 
spection of  immigrants  or  of  caring  for  the  destitute  among  those 
admitted.  The  only  alternative  was  the  recommendation  of  the 
Supreme  Court  that  Congress  assume  control  of  immigration 


legislation,  and  New  York  representatives  in  Congress  imme- 
diately endeavored  to  secure  the  passage  of  a  general  immigra- 
tion law.  The  above-quoted  case  was  decided  by  the  Supreme 
Court  March  20,  1876,  and  on  July  6  following  Senator  Conkling 
and  Representative  Cox,  of  New  York,  introduced  bills  for  the 
national  regulation  of  immigration. 

These  bills  provided  for  a  manifest  of  all  alien  passengers ;  a 
head  tax  of  $2  ;  the  exclusion  and  deportation  of  convicts,  insane 
persons,  and  paupers,  and  the  reimbursement  to  the  States  of 
all  money  paid  out  by  them  for  the  support  and  maintenance  of 
any  immigrants  within  four  years  after  their  arrival.  These  bills 
were  not  given  favorable  consideration,  the  principal  opposition 
coming  from  the  commercial  organizations  of  the  country.  New 
York  Senators  and  Representatives,  however,  continued  to  intro- 
duce bills  of  like  nature,  but  a  national  immigration  law  was  not 
enacted  until  1882. 


In  his  message  of  December  6,  1881,  President  Arthur  called 
attention  to  the  subject  of  immigration  control  and  recommended 
legislation  regarding  the  supervision  and  transitory  care  of  the 
immigrants  at  ports  of  debarkation. 

In  that  session  of  Congress  immigration  legislation  was  given 
consideration,  and  on  August  3,  1882,  the  first  general  immigra- 
tion law  was  approved.  This  law  provided  that  a  head  tax  of  50 
cents  should  be  levied  on  all  aliens  landed  at  United  States 
ports,  the  money  thus  collected  to  be  used  to  defray  the  expenses 
of  regulating  immigration  and  for  the  care  of  immigrants  after 
landing,  no  more  being  expended  at  any  port  than  was  collected 
at  such  port.  The  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  was  charged  with 
executing  the  provisions  of  the  act,  and  for  that  purpose  he  was 
given  power  to  enter  into  contracts  with  such  state  officers  as 
might  be  designated  by  the  governor  of  any  State  to  take  charge 
of  the  local  affairs  of  immigration  within  such  State.  The 
law  provided  that  foreign  convicts  (except  those  convicted  of 
political  offenses),  lunatics,  idiots,  and  persons  likely  to  become 
public  charges,  should  not  be  permitted  to  land. 



On  February  26,  1885,  the  first  law  forbidding  the  importation 
of  contract  labor  was  approved.  This  law  was  defective,  in  that 
no  inspection  was  provided  for,  nor  was  any  arrangement  made 
for  the  general  execution  of  the  provisions  of  the  law  or  for  the 
deportation  of  the  contract  laborer  himself.  This  law  was 
amended  by  the  act  of  February  23,  1887,  and  by  this  amend- 
ment the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  was  given  the  same  power  to 
exclude  and  deport  contract  laborers  that  he  had  been  given 
under  the  act  of  1882  over  criminals,  paupers,  idiots,  and  lunatics. 
The  act  of  1885  was  again  amended  on  October  9,  1888,  by  which 
amendment  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury  was  given  power  to 
return  within  the  year  any  immigrant  landed  contrary  to  this 

From  1882  to  1888,  aside  from  the  enactment  of  the  contract- 
labor  laws  referred  to,  there  was  little  attempt  at  other  immigra- 
tion legislation.  Numerous  bills  in  amendment  of  the  laws  of  1882 
were  introduced  in  Congress,  but  no  action  was  taken  upon  them. 


During  this  period,  however,  there  was  considerable  agitation 
for  the  further  restriction  or  regulation  of  immigration,  and  in 
1888  the  House  of  Representatives  passed  a  resolution,  in  which 
note  was  taken  of  the  charges  of  prominent  journals  that  the 
laws  prohibiting  the  importation  of  contract  laborers,  convicts, 
and  paupers  were  being  extensively  evaded,  owing  to  the  lack  of 
machinery  to  enforce  them,  and  this  resolution  authorized  the 
appointment  of  a  select  committee  to  investigate  the  matter. 
This  select  committee,  which  was  known  as  the  "Ford  com- 
mittee," reported  at  the  following  session  of  Congress.  The  report 
alleged  that  each  year  there  were  thousands  of  alien  paupers, 
insane  persons,  and  idiots  landed  in  this  country  who  became  a 
burden  upon  the  States  where  they  happened  to  gain  a  settle- 
ment; that  many  of  these  were  assisted  to  emigrate  oy  the 
officials  of  the  country  from  which  they  came ;  that  the  number  of 
persons  not  lawfully  entitled  to  land  in  the  United  States  who 
came  in  by  the  way  of  the  Canadian  frontier  was  large,  and  was 


becoming  a  serious  danger,  the  testimony  showing  that  in  many 
instances  immigrants  coming  by  steamer  to  Quebec  had  within 
forty-eight  hours  after  their  arrival  there  been  applicants  for 
shelter  in  the  almshouses  of  the  State  of  New  York.  This  was 
probably  the  first  time  that  serious  attention  was  called  to  the 
matter  of  overland  immigration.  The  committee  also  declared 
that  the  law  of  1882,  as  regards  the  excluding  of  convicts,  had 
been  and  was  being  repeatedly  violated  to  such  an  extent  that  it 
demanded  remedial  legislation,  and  that  the  contract-labor  law 
was  easy  to  violate  and  convictions  under  it  hard  to  secure.  To 
remedy  these  defects  the  committee  recommended  that  the 
enforcement  of  all  acts  relating  to  the  regulation  of  immigration 
be  intrusted  solely  to  the  Federal  Government  rather  than  to 
state  authorities,  as  was  provided  under  the  law  of  1882.  The 
committee  praised  the  immigrant  of  the  past,  but  said  that  it 
could  not  praise  the  immigrant  then  coming.  The  idea  of  selection 
was  emphasized,  and  it  was  asserted  that  "the  time  had  come  to 
draw  the  line  and  to  select  the  good  from  the  bad,  because  the 
country  could  not  properly  assimilate  them." 

Besides  excluding  idiots,  paupers,  lunatics,  and  convicts,  the 
bill  proposed  by  the  Ford  committee  added  to  the  excluded  classes 
polygamists,  anarchists,  and  persons  afflicted  with  a  loathsome 
or  dangerous  contagious  disease.  The  provisions  of  the  contract- 
labor  law  were  also  incorporated  in  the  bill,  and  it  was  provided 
that  any  person  found  in  the  United  States  having  come  contrary 
to  law  should  be  deported  within  two  years  at  the  expense  of  the 
transportation  company  bringing  him.  All  aliens  were  also 
required  to  bring  a  consular  certificate  of  emigration,  showing 
that  they  were  not  among  the  classes  excluded  by  the  United 
States  law.  Congress,  however,  did  not  act  upon  the  recommen- 
dations of  the  Ford  committee. 


The  subject  of  immigration  continued  to  be  a  matter  of  interest, 
and  in  1889  a  standing  Committee  on  Immigration  in  the  Senate 
and  a  Select  Committee  on  Immigration  and  Naturalization  in 
the  House  were  established.  In  1890  these  committees  were 
authorized  jointly  to  make  an  inquiry  relative  to  immigration  and 


to  investigate  the  workings  of  the  various  laws  of  the  United 
States  and  of  the  several  States  relative  to  immigration. 

Various  reports  were  submitted,  and  the  conclusion  of  the  com- 
mittee was  that  a  radical  change  in  the  immigration  laws  was  not 
advisable,  although  it  had  been  found  that  throughout  the 
country  there  existed  a  demand  for  a  stricter  enforcement  of  the 
immigration  laws.  During  1890  one  or  more  political  parties  in 
23  States  had  demanded  additional  regulations  of  immigration. 

The  investigation  of  the  joint  committee  showed  that  large 
numbers  of  immigrants  were  being  landed  every  year  in 
violation  of  the  law  of  1882,  the  chief  cause  of  which  was  the 
divided  authority  provided  for  the  execution  of  the  immigration 
act.  The  contract-labor  law  was  found  to  be  generally  evaded. 
The  bill  presented  by  the  committee  aimed  to  correct  faults  in 
existing  law.  As  it  was  presented  it  received  rather  general 
favor,  the  only  opposition  to  it  being  on  the  part  of  ultra- 
restrictionists,  who  tried  to  have  substituted  a  bill  which  raised 
the  head  tax  from  50  cents  to  $>i  and  provided  for  a  thorough 
consular  examination.  The  substitute  bill  was  defeated  by  a 
vote  of  207  to  41.  The  bill  of  the  committee  passed  the  House 
by  a  vote  of  125  to  48,  and  after  being  adopted  by  the  Senate 
without  discussion  it  was  approved  on  March  3,  1891. 


This  law  provided  for  a  head  tax  of  50  cents,  as  was  also  pro- 
vided in  the  law  of  1882,  the  head  tax  being  considered  merely  as 
a  means  of  raising  money  for  the  proper  administration  of  the 
law.  Persons  suffering  from  a  loathsome  or  a  dangerous  conta- 
gious disease,  and  polygamists,  were  added  to  the  classes  excluded 
by  the  act  of  1882,  and  it  was  also  provided  that  "assisted  persons, 
unless  affirmatively  shown  that  they  did  not  belong  to  any 
excluded  class,"  should  be  debarred.  The  contract-labor  law 
was  strengthened  by  prohibiting  the  encouragement  of  immigra- 
tion by  promises  of  employment  through  advertisements  pub- 
lished in  any  foreign  country,  and  transportation  companies 
were  forbidden  to  solicit  or  encourage  immigration.  Under  the 
law  of  1891  the  office  of  the  superintendent  of  immigration  was 
authorized,  and  for  the  first  time  federal  control  of  immigration 


was  completely  and  definitely  established,  United  States  officials  , 
exercising  the  functions  which  under  the  law  of  1882  had  been 
delegated  to  the  States.  It  now  became  the  duty  of  the  command- 
ing officer  of  every  vessel  bringing  alien  immigrants  to  report 
to  the  proper  inspection  officials  the  name,  nationality,  last 
residence,  and  destination  of  all  such  aliens ;  all  decisions  of  the 
inspection  officials  refusing  any  alien  the  right  to  land  were  final 
unless  appeal  was  taken  to  the  Secretary  of  the  Treasury ;  the 
medical  examination  of  immigrants  at  United  States  ports  was 
to  be  made  by  surgeons  of  the  United  States  Marine-Hospital 
Service  and  for  the  first  time  an  inspection  of  immigrants  on  the 
borders  of  Canada  and  Mexico  was  provided  for.  Another 
provision  not  found  in  the  law  of  1882  was  that  which  allowed 
the  return  within  a  year  after  arrival  of  any  alien  who  had  come 
into  the  United  States  in  violation  of  law,  such  return  being  at 
the  expense  of  the  transportation  company  or  person  bringing 
such  alien  into  the  country. 


Notwithstanding  the  new  law,  however,  the  question  of 
immigration  continued  to  receive  attention  in  Congress.  This 
law  was  approved  on  March  3,  1891,  and  on  January  29,  1892,  a 
joint  committee  was  charged  with  investigating  the  workings  of 
the  various  laws  of  the  United  States  relative  to  immigration 
and  the  importation  of  contract  laborers.  This  committee  made  a 
report  on  July  28  of  the  same  year.  The  committee  found  that 
many  undesirable  immigrants  were  being  permitted  to  land  who 
under  a  proper  and  reasonable  construction  of  the  law  should 
have  been  refused  admission,  and  that  the  law  permitting  the 
commissioner  of  immigration  at  any  port  to  be  the  sole  arbiter  as 
to  whether  an  immigrant  should  land  or  not,  with  an  appeal  in 
favor  of  the  immigrant  in  case  he  is  not  permitted  to  land,  and 
no  appeal  in  case  he  is  unlawfully  permitted  to  do  so,  should  be 
changed.  In  recommending  a  more  careful  inspection  of  immi- 
grants the  committee  said  that  what  theretofore  had  been  called 
examinations  appeared  to  be  more  of  a  farce  than  a  reality.  To 
remedy  this  it  was  proposed  that  whenever  an  inspector  was  in 
doubt  regarding  the  right  of  an  immigrant  to  land  he  might  detain 


him  for  a  special  inquiry  conducted  by  four  inspectors,  the  favor- 
able decision  of  three  of  them  being  necessary  to  admit.  Finally 
the  committee  decided  that  an  examination  should  be  made  at 
foreign  ports  of  embarkation  by  the  captain  and  surgeon  of  the 
ship  bringing  him,  thus  making  the  steamship  and  transportation 
lines  responsible  for  the  character  of  the  persons  they  bring. 
Bills  embodying  the  recommendations'  of  the  committee  were 
introduced  and  passed  by  the  Senate  without  debate,  but  the 
House  took  no  action  at  that  session. 

On  July  1 6,  1892,  the  Senate  passed  a  resolution  providing  that 
the  Committee  on  Immigration  be  empowered  to  investigate 
the  workings  of  the  immigration  laws  and  the  importation  of 
contract  labor,  as  well  as  the  laws  of  the  prevailing  methods  of 

The  result  of  this  investigation  was  reported  to  the  next  session 
of  Congress.  Accompanying  the  report  were  two  bills,  one 
establishing  additional  regulations  concerning  immigration  and 
the  other  entirely  prohibiting  immigration  for  one  year.  The 
reason  for  the  latter  bill  was  the  epidemic  of  cholera  then  pre- 
vailing in  Europe.  The  bill  declaring  for  the  total  suspension  of 
immigration  for  one  year,  simply  to  "  defeat  the  arrival  of  cholera 
within  our  borders,"  was  deemed  too  severe,  and  instead  the 
following  provision,  which  is  still  in  force,  was  inserted  in  the 
general  quarantine  act: 

That  whenever  it  shall  be  shown  to  the  satisfaction  of  the  President 
that  by  reason  of  the  existence  of  cholera  or  other  infectious  or  con- 
tagious disease  in  a  foreign  country  there  is  a  serious  danger  of  the 
introduction  of  the  same  into  the  United  States  and  that  notwith- 
standing the  quarantine  defense  this  danger  is  so  increased  by  the  in- 
troduction of  persons  or  property  from  such  country  that  a  suspension 
of  the  right  to  introduce  the  same  is  demanded  in  the  interest  of  the 
public  health,  the  President  shall  have  the  power  to  prohibit,  in  whole 
or  in  part,  the  introduction  of  persons  and  property  from  such  coun- 
tries or  places  as  he  shall  designate  and  for  such  period  of  time  as  he 
may  deem  necessary. 

The  other  bill  presented  by  the  Senate  committee  is  inter- 
esting in  that  for  the  first  time  restriction  of  immigration  by 
means  of  an  educational  test  was  recommended  by  a  congres- 
sional committee. 


When  the  committee's  report  was  presented  it  was  argued  in 
Congress  that  the  law  of  1891  had  been  in  force  only  a  brief 
period  and  its  operation  as  yet  had  been  only  of  an  experimental 
character,  and  that  instead  of  passing  a  new  law  it  would  be 
better  to  bring  about  a  proper  enforcement  of  the  spirit  of  the 
existing  law.  The  objection  to  the  educational  test  was  that  the 
demand  of  the  country  was  not  for  skilled  and  educated  labor, 
but  "for  a  class  of  brawn  and  muscle  to  assist  in  agriculture  and 
in  the  line  of  their  work  to  aid  in  the  development  of  the  almost 
boundless  resources  of  the  great  West  and  South."  It  was 
further  argued  that  the  country  was  not  demanding  the  exclusion 
of  any  immigrants  but  criminals  and  paupers.  While  there  were 
some  who  favored  even  a  more  radical  restriction  than  was 
proposed  in  the  committee  bill,  the  idea  of  promoting  a  better 
enforcement  of  the  existing  laws  prevailed,  and  while  the_ com- 
mit tee's  recommendations  resulted  in  a  revised  immigration  law, 
which  was  approved  March  3,  1893,  it  was  by  no  means  radical. 
One  important  provision  of  the  law  of  1893  was  that  boards  of 
special  inquiry  should  pass  upon  the  admissibility  of  immigrants, 
a  practice  which  has  since  prevailed. 

With  the  exception  of  an  amendment  to  an  appropriation  act 
in  1894  raising  the  head  tax  on  immigrants  from  50  cents  to  $i, 
no  immigration  legislation  was  enacted  until  1903.  The  agitation 
of  the  subject  in  Congress  continued,  however,  and  the  period  is 
interesting  chiefly  because  of  the  adoption  by  both  houses  of 
Congress  of  a  bill  providing  for  an  educational  test  for  immigrants 
and  the  veto  of  the  bill  by  President  Cleveland. 


As  the  bill  went  to  the  President  it  provided  that  persons 
physically  capable  and  over  16  years  of  age  who  could  not  read 
and  write  the  English  language  or  some  other  language,  parents, 
grandparents,  wives,  and  minor  children  of  admissible  immigrants 
being  excepted,  were  added  to  the  excluded  classes. 

President  Cleveland  returned  the  bill  with  his  veto  on  March  2, 
1897.  He  objected  to  the  radical  departure  from  the  previous 
national  policy  relating  to  immigration,  which  welcomed  all 
who  came,  the  success  of  which  policy  was  attested  by  the  last 


century's  great  growth.  In  referring  to  the  claim  that  the  quality 
of  recent  immigration  was  undesirable,  he  said,  "The  time  is 
quite  within  recent  memory  when  the  same  thing  was  said  of 
immigrants  who,  with  their  descendants,  are  now  numbered 
among  our  best  citizens."  The  prevailing  disturbed  labor  condi- 
tions he  attributed  to  a  general  business  depression,  which  would 
in  no  way  be  affected  by  restricting  immigration.  In  referring  to 
"the  best  reason  that  could  be  given  for  this  radical  restriction 
of  immigration,"  the  "protecting  of  our  population  against  de- 
generation and  saving  our  national  peace  and  quiet  from  im- 
ported turbulence  and  disorder,"  President  Cleveland  said  that 
he  did  not  think  it  would  be  protected  against  these  evils  by 
limiting  immigration  to  those  who  could  read  and  write,  for,  in 
his  mind,  it  was  safer  "to  admit  a  hundred  thousand  immi- 
grants who,  though  unable  to  read  and  write,  seek  among 
us  only  a  home  and  opportunity  to  work,  than  to  admit 
one  of  those  unruly  agitators  who  can  not  only  read  and 
write,  but  delights  in  arousing  by  inflammatory  speech  the 
illiterate  and  peacefully  inclined  to  discontent."  Those  classes 
which  we  ought  to  exclude,  he  claimed,  should  be  legislated 
against  directly. 

,  '  Sections  of  the  bill  declaring  it  a  crime  for  an  alien  regularly  to 
come  into  the  United  States  for  the  purpose  of  obtaining  work 
from  private  parties,  President  Cleveland  declared,  were  "illib- 
eral, narrow,  and  un-American,"  and,  besides,  he  said,  the  resi- 
dents of  these  border  States  and  Territories  "have  separate  and 
especial  interests  which  in  many  cases  make  an  interchange  of 
labor  between  their  people  and  their  alien  neighbors  most 
important,  frequently  with  the  advantage  largely  in  favor  of  our 

On  March  3,  1897,  tne  House  passed  the  bill  over  the  Presi- 
dent's veto  by  a  vote  of  193  to  37,  but  no  action  was  taken  in  the 
Senate,  and  considering  the  close  vote  by  which  the  conference 
report  was  adopted  by  the  Senate  it  is  very  doubtful  whether  it 
could  have  been  passed  over  the  veto. 

In  the  Fifty-fifth  Congress  the  bill  which  President  Cleveland 
vetoed  was  again  introduced  and  passed  the  Senate  by  a  vote  of 
45  to  28,  but  the  House  of  Representatives  refused  to  consider  it 
by  a  vote  of  103  to  101. 



By  an  act  of  June  18,  1898,  the  Industrial  Commission  was 
created.  Section  2  of  this  act  provided : 

That  it  shall  be  the  duty  of  this  comnu'ssion  to  investigate  ques- 
tions pertaining  to  immigration,  and  to  report  to  Congress  and  to 
suggest  such  legislation  as  it  may  deem  best  upon  these  subjects. 

The  final  report  of  this  commission  containing  recommen- 
dations relative  to  immigration  legislation  was  submitted  to 
Congress  on  February  20,  1902,  and  shortly  afterwards  a  bill  was 
introduced  in  the  House  which  was  substantially  in  accord  with 
the  recommendations  made.  The  principal  object  of  the  bill  was 
to  codify  in  concise  form  all  immigration  legislation  before 
enacted,  from  the  act  of  March  3,  1875,  to  the  act  of  1894,  and 
to  arrange  the  legislation  in  regular  order  and  sequence  according 
to  the  various  specific  subjects  dealt  with  in  the  bill. 

When  the  Industrial  Commission  bill  was  before  the  House,  an  * 
amendment  was  added  providing  for  the  exclusion  of  all  persons 
over  fifteen  who  were  unable  to  read  the  English  language  or 
some  other  language,  excepting  the  wife,  children  under  18  years 
of  age,  and  parents  and  grandparents  of  admissible  immigrants. 
This  amendment  was  adopted  in  the  House  by  a  vote  of  86  to  7. 
With  the  addition  of  the  literacy  test  provision  the  bill  passed 
the  House  May  27, 1902,  practically  as  introduced,  but  the  Senate 
did  not  act  upon  it  until  the  following  session.  Besides  eliminating 
the  educational  test  and  raising  the  head  tax  from  $i  to  $2, 
the  Senate  added  provisions  making  it  unlawful  for  any  person 
to  assist  in  the  unlawful  entry  or  naturalization  of  alien 
anarchists.  These  amendments  were  accepted  by  the  House. 
Before  the  final  passage  of  the  bill  a  provision  was  added  pro- 
viding that  no  alien,  even  if  belonging  in  the  excluded  classes, 
should  be  deported  if  liable  to  execution  for  a  religious  offense 
in  the  country  from  which  he  came,  but  this  provision  was 
eliminated  in  conference.  The  bill  was  approved  by  the  Presi- 
dent March  3,  1903. 

From  the  act  of  March  3,  1903,  until  the  act  of  February  20, 
1907,  no  laws  of  general  importance  affecting  immigration  were 
enacted  by  Congress.  On  February  14,  1903,  the  Department 


of  Commerce  and  Labor  was  established  and  the  Commissioner- 
General  of  Immigration  was  placed  under  the  jurisdiction  and 
supervision  of  that  department.  By  the  law  of  June  29,  1906, 
providing  for  a  uniform  rule  for  the  naturalization  of  aliens,  the 
designation  of  the  Bureau  of  Immigration  was  changed  to  the 
Bureau  of  Immigration  and  Naturalization,  and  it  was  charged 
with  the  administration  of  the  new  naturalization  law. 

The  agitation  of  the  immigration  question  was  continued,  how- 
ever, and  at  each  session  of  Congress  several  bills  proposing 
restrictions  or  a  stricter  supervision  of  immigration  were  intro- 
duced. In  the  Fifty-eighth  Congress  a  bill  was  introduced  which 
proposed  to  limit  the  number  of  aliens  from  any  one  nation 
allowed  to  enter  the  United  States  in  any  one  fiscal  year  to  80,000, 
but  no  action  was  taken  upon  it. 


In  the  first  session  of  the  Fifty-ninth  Congress,  following  the 
popular  demand  for  the  further  regulation  of  alien  immigration, 
several  bills  were  introduced  and  bills  were  passed  by  both  the 
Senate  and  House,  but  were  not  finally  enacted  into  law  until  the 
second  session  of  that  Congress.^  A  bill  introduced  by  Senator 
Dillingham,  of  Vermont,  which  provided  for  some  important 
administrative  changes  in  the  immigration  act  of  1903,  was 
reported  from  the  Senate  committee  March  29,  1906.  This  bill, 
as  reported,  proposed  several  changes  in  the  law.  The  head  tax 
on  immigrants  was  increased  from  $2  to  $5  ;  imbeciles,  feeble- 
minded persons,  iirm.rmmpfl.nieH  £hiTHren_jmjer  iy  years  of  age , 
is  "who  are  found  to  be  and  are  certified  by  the  examin- 
ing surgeon  as  being  mentally  or  physically  defective,  such  mental 
or  physical  defect  being  of  a  nature  which  may  affect  the  ability 
of  such  aliens  to  earn  a  living,"  were  added  to  the  excluded 
classes ;  the  provision  of  existing  law  excluding  prostitutes  was 
amended  to  also  exclude  "women  or  girls  coming  into  the  United 
States  for  the  purpose  of  prostitution  or  for  any  other  immoral 
purpose";  steamship  companies  were  required  to  furnish  lists 
of  outgoing  passengers;  and  the  creation  of  a  division  of  dis- 
tribution in  the  Bureau  of  Immigration  was  authorized. 


In  the  Senate  the  bill  was  amended  by  the  insertion  of  a  literacy 
test  which  provided  for  the  exclusion  from  the  United  States  of  — 

all  persons  over  sixteen  years  of  age  and  physically  capable  of  reading 
who  cannot  read  the  English  language  or  some  other  language ;  but 
an  admissible  immigrant  or  a  person  now  in  or  hereafter  admitted  to 
this  country  may  bring  in  or  send  for  his  wife,  his  children  under 
eighteen  years  of  age,  and  his  parents  or  grandparents  over  fifty  years 
of  age,  if  they  are  otherwise  admissible,  whether  they  are  so  able  to 
read  or  not. 

The  bill  as  amended  passed  the  Senate  May  23,  1906,  and  in 
the  House  was  referred  to  the  Committee  on  Immigration  and 
Naturalization.  This  committee  recommended  the  substitution 
of  a  House  bill  which,  however,  did  not  differ  materially  from 
that  of  the  Senate.  The  head  tax  provision  was  the  same  and 
the  additions  to  the  excluded  classes  practically  so ;  a  literacy 
test  similar  to  that  of  the  Senate  was  also  included.  The  bill  as 
originally  reported  by  the  House  committee  also  provided  for 
the  exclusion  of  every  adult  male  who  had  not  $25  in  his  possession 
and  every  female  alien  and  every  male  alien  under  16  years 
not  possessed  of  $15,  provided  that  $50  in  the  possession  of 
the  head  of  a  family  would  be  considered  a  sufficient  amount  for 
all  members  of  such  family,  except  grown  sons. 

In  a  subsequent  bill  and  report,  presented  June  n,  1906,  how- 
ever, the  money  qualification  feature  was  omitted.  The  reports 
of  the  House  committee  were  accompanied  by  a  minority  report, 
signed  by  two  members  of  the  committee,  Mr.  Bennet  and  Mr. 
Ruppert,  both  of  New  York,  in  which  the  increased  head  tax 
and  the  educational  test  provisions  were  disagreed  to.  In  the 
House  of  Representatives  the  bill  was  amended  by  striking  out 
the  increased  head-tax  provision  and  the  provision  for  a  literacy 
test,  by  inserting  a  section  creating  the  Immigration  Commission, 
and  by  adopting  the  so-called  Littauer  amendment,  which "" 
provided  as  follows : 

That  an  immigrant  who  proves  that  he  is  seeking  admission  to  this 
country  solely  to  avoid  prosecution  or  punishment  on  religious  or 
political  grounds,  for  an  offense  of  a  political  character,  or  prosecution 
involving  danger  of  punishment,  or  danger  to  life  or  limb  on  account 
of  religious  belief,  shall  not  be  deported  because  of  want  of  means 
or  the  probability  of  his  being  unable  to  earn  a  livelihood. 


In  conference  between  the  two  Houses  the  Senate  receded  from 
its  provision  relative  to  a  literacy  test ;  the  House  receded  from 
the  Littauer  amendment;  the  head-tax  provision  was  com- 
promised by  fixing  the  amount  at  $4,  instead  of  $5  as  provided 
by  the  Senate  and  $2  as  provided  by  the  House;  the  House 
amendment  creating  the  Immigration  Commission  was  agreed 
to  with  an  amendment,  which  provided  that  the  Commission 
should  consist  of  three  Senators,  three  Members  of  the  House  of 
Representatives,  and  three  persons  to  be  appointed  by  the 
President  of  the  United  States,  instead  of  two  Senators,  three 
Members  of  the  House,  and  two  citizen  members,  as  was  pro- 
vided in  the  House  amendment.  The  section  creating  the  Com- 
mission was  further  amended  in  conference  by  the  addition  of  the 
following  provision: 

.  .  .  the  President  of  the  United  States  is  also  authorized,  in  the 
name  of  the  Government  of  the  United  States,  to  call,  in  his  discre- 
tion, an  international  conference,  to  assemble  at  such  point  as  may  be 
agreed  upon,  or  to  send  special  commissioners  to  any  foreign  country 
for  the  purpose  of  regulating  by  international  agreement,  subject 
to  the  advice  and  consent  of  the  Senate  of  the  United  States,  the  im- 
migration of  aliens  to  the  United  States ;  of  providing  for  the  mental, 
moral,  and  physical  examination  of  such  aliens  by  American  consuls 
or  other  officers  of  the  United  States  Government  at  the  ports  of  em- 
barkation, or  elsewhere ;  of  securing  the  assistance  of  foreign  govern- 
ments in  their  own  territories  to  prevent  the  evasion  of  the  laws  of 
the  United  States  governing  immigration  to  the  United  States ;  of 
entering  into  such  international  agreements  as  may  be  proper  to 
prevent  the  immigration  of  aliens  who,  under  the  laws  of  the  United 
States,  are  or  may  be  excluded  from  entering  the  United  States,  and 
of  regulating  any  matters  pertaining  to  such  immigration. 

The  conferees  also  added  a  new  section  (sec.  42)  to  the  bill 
amending  section  i  of  the  passenger  act  of  1882  relative  to  air 
space  allotted  to  steerage  passengers, 'and  amended  section  i  of 
the  immigration  bill  under  consideration  by  inserting  the  follow- 
ing provision : 

That  whenever  the  President  shall  be  satisfied  that  passports  is- 
sued by  any  foreign  government  to  its  citizens  to  go  to  any  country 
other  than  the  United  States  or  to  any  insular  possession  of  the  United 
States  or  to  the  Canal  Zone  are  being  used  for  the  purpose  of  enabling 


the  holders  to  come  to  the  continental  territory  of  the  United  States 
to  the  detriment  of  labor  conditions  therein,  the  President  may  refuse 
to  permit  such  citizens  of  the  country  issuing  such  passports  to  enter 
the  continental  territory  of  the  United  States  from  such  other  country 
or  from  such  insular  possessions  or  from  the  Canal  Zone. 

Later  this  provision  of  law  was  utilized  for  the  purpose  of 
excluding  Japanese  and  Korean  laborers  from  the  United  States. 
This  bill  was  approved  February  20,  1907,  and  is  the  present  law 
upon  the  subject. 



By  the  act  of  March  26,  1910,  sections  2  and  3  of  the  immigra-~ 
tion  law  of  February  20,  1907,  were  amended  to  more  effectively 
prevent  the  importation  of  women  and  girls  for  immoral  purposes 
and  their  control  by  importers  and  others  after  admission  to  the 
United  States.  These  amendments  followed  recommendations 
of  the  Immigration  Commission  contained  in  a  report  of  the 
Commission  on  the  importation  and  harboring  of  women  for 
immoral  purposes. 

By  the  act  of  March  26  the  following  were  added  to  the  classes 
excluded  by  section  2  of  the  immigration  act :  "  Persons  who  are 
supported  by  or  receive  in  full  or  in  part  the  proceeds  of  prosti- 
tution." Under  the  terms  of  the  act  of  1907  "women  or  girls 
coming  into  the  United  States  for  the  purpose  of  prostitution 
or  for  any  other  immoral  purpose,"  and  also  "persons  who 
procure  or  attempt  to  bring  in  prostitutes  or  women  or  girls 
for  the  purpose  of  prostitution  or  for  any  other  immoral  pur- 
pose," were  specifically  excluded  from  the  United  States.  Under 
that  law,  however,  there  was  no  specific  provision  for  the  ex- 
clusion of  that  particularly  reprehensible  class  of  persons  referred 
to  in  the  act  of  March  26,  1910.  By  the  amendment  of  section 
3  of  the  law  of  1907  additional  means  were  provided  for  the 
punishment  and  deportation  of  aliens  who  in  any  way  profited 
or  derived  benefit  from  the  proceeds  of  prostitution. 

The  agitation  of  the  white-slave  traffic  in  Congress  also  resulted 
in  the  enactment  of  a  law  prohibiting  the  transportation  of 
persons  from  one  State  to  another  for  purposes  of  prostitution. 



In  the  early  fifties,  when  the  Chinese  first  came  to  California 
in  any  considerable  numbers,  it  is  said  that  the  people  of  San 
Francisco  regarded  "with  admiration  and  pride"  these  "pic- 
turesque and  far- traveling  immigrants."  The  movement  devel- 
oped rapidly  and  supplied  cheap  labor  for  the  construction  of 
railways.  It  appears*  that  there  was  little  objection  to  their 
coming  at  that  time,  but  later  when  they  entered  the  mines  and 
became  successful  competitors  of  white  men  and  women  in  other 
lines  of  work,  an  opposition  to  their  immigration  arose  which 
has  since  continued.  This  opposition  was  soon  expressed  in  state 
laws  for  the  suppression  of  such  immigration.  In  1853  a  law 
taxing  all  foreign  miners  was  enacted  in  California,  but  in  prac- 
tice such  tax  was  collected  only  from  the  Chinese.  In  1855 
California  imposed  a  tax  of  $55  upon  every  Chinese  immigrant, 
and  in  1858  a  law  was  passed  prohibiting  all  Chinese  or  Mongo- 
lians from  entering  the  State,  unless  driven  on  shore  by  weather 
or  some  accident,  in  which  case  it  was  provided  they  should  be 
immediately  sent  out  of  the  country.  In  1862  another  act  was 
passed  providing  for  a  head  tax  of  $2.50  upon  all  arriving  Mongo- 
lians 1 8  years  of  age  or  over,  unless  they  were  engaged  in  the 
production  and  manufacture  of  sugar,  rice,  coffee,  or  tea.  These 
different  state  laws  were  declared  unconstitutional  by  the  supreme 
court  of  California.  In  the  same  manner  the  cities  of  the  Pacific 
coast  passed  ordinances  directly  or  indirectly  affecting  the  Chinese. 
Notwithstanding  adverse  decisions  of  the  state  courts  California 
persisted  in  attempts  to  repress  Chinese  immigration,  but  finally 
all  such  attempts  were  rendered  futile  by  the  decision  of  the  United 
States  Supreme  Court  that  the  regulation  of  immigration  was 
a  subject  for  national  rather  than  state  legislation. 

Even  before  this  decision,  however,  California  appealed  to 
Congress  for  national  legislation  to  stop  Chinese  immigration. 

The  first  consideration  given  to  Chinese  immigration  in  Con- 
gress resulted  in  the  law  of  1862  prohibiting  the  coolie  trade, 
which  has  been  referred  to  as  the  first  attempt  of  Congress  to 
regulate  immigration.  All  debates  in  Congress  and  reports  on 
the  subject,  however,  show  that  the  question  of  the  importation 
of  Chinese  coolies  into  the  United  States  was  not  considered, 


the  only  purpose  of  the  act  being  to  prevent  American  vessels 
from  carrying  on  this  coolie  or  slave  trade,  especially  between 
China  and  the  West  Indies,  although  to  some  extent  it  was  also 
carried  on  with  South  American  ports. 


Although  political  relations  of  the  United  States  with  China 
date  back  to  the  year  1844,  the  first  treaty  in  which  emigration 
from  one  country  to  the  other  was  considered,  was  the  Burlingame 
treaty,  proclaimed  July  28,  1868.  Sections  5  and  6  of  that  treaty 
state  the  position  of  the  United  States  respecting  the  rights  of 
Chinese  in  this  country.  The  inherent  and  inalienable  right  of 
man  to  change  his  home  and  allegiance,  and  also  the  mutual 
advantage  of  the  free  migration  and  emigration  of  their  citizens 
and  subjects,  respectively,  from  the  one  country  to  the  other,  for 
the  purpose  of  curiosity,  or  trade,  or  as  permanent  residents,  were 
recognized,  but  "any  other  than  an  entirely  voluntary  emigra- 
tion" was  reprobated.  By  the  Burlingame  treaty  the  United 
States  declared  that  - 

Chinese  subjects  visiting  or  residing  in  the  United  States  shall  enjoy 
the  same  privileges,  immunities,  and  exemptions  in  respect  to  travel 
or  residence  as  may  there  be  enjoyed  by  the  citizens  or  subjects  of 
the  most  favored  nations. 

The  right  of  naturalization  was,  however,  denied  them. 

The  attitude  of  the  United  States  as  expressed  in  this  treaty  was 
not  popular  in  the  Pacific  States,  and  these  States  continued  their 
efforts  to  secure  legislation  restricting  the  further  immigration  of 
the  Chinese. 

In  1872  the  legislature  of  California  had  instructed  their 
Representatives  in  Congress  to  urge  the  making  of  a  new  treaty 
with  China  providing  for  the  exclusion  of  certain  Chinese 
subjects,  and  the  continued  agitation  finally  resulted  in  the 
enactment  of  the  law  of  March  3,  1875.  Besides  prohibiting  the 
importation  of  women,  especially  Chinese  women,  for  the  purpose 
of  prostitution,  and  the  immigration  of  convicts,  the  principal 
provision  of  the  act  of  1875  was  that  the  transporting  into  the 
United  States  of  any  subject  of  China,  Japan,  or  any  oriental 



country,  without  their  free  and  voluntary  consent,  for  the  pur- 
pose of  holding  them  to  a  term  of  service,  was  to  be  punished  by 
imprisonment  for  not  more  than  one  year  and  by  a  fine  not 
exceeding  $2000.  It  further  provided  that  any  person  attempting 
to  contract  in  this  manner  to  supply  coolie  labor  to  another  should 
be  guilty  of  a  felony,  and  should  be  imprisoned  for  not  more  than 
one  year  and  pay  a  fine  of  not  more  than  $5000. 


On  February  27, 1877,  the  report  of  the  joint  special  committee 
sent  to  California  to  study  the  question  was  submitted  to  Con- 
gress. The  committee  as  appointed  consisted  of  Messrs.  Morton, 
of  Indiana,  Meade,  of  New  York,  Wilson,  of  Massachusetts, 
Cooper,  of  New  York,  and  Sargent  and  Piper,  of  California.  Be- 
cause of  sickness  and  resignations  the  final  report  was  made 
by  Mr.  Cooper,  Mr.  Sargent,  and  Mr.  Piper.  This  report  was  a 
violent  denunciation  of  the  Chinese  as  a  class  on  the  part  of  the 
Pacific  coast,  and  finally  led  to  the  passage  of  the  Chinese- 
exclusion  law.  Congress  took  no  immediate  action  on  this 
report,  but  from  that  time  on  protests  and  bills  looking  to  the 
exclusion  of  Chinese  were  constantly  being  introduced  and  con- 
sidered in  Congress. 

In  1879  a  bill  was  introduced  in  Congress  limiting  to  15  the 
number  of  Chinese  who  could  come  into  the  United  States  upon 
any  one  vessel.  It  was  argued  against  this  bill  that  it  would 
abrogate  the  provisions  of  the  Burlingame  treaty.  After  being 
amended  by  adding  a  provision  for  the  abrogation  of  articles  5 
and  6  of  that  treaty,  which  gave  to  the  Chinaman  all  privileges 
enjoyed  by  "  citizens  or  subjects  of  the  most  favored  nations," 
the  bill  passed  the  House  January  28,  1879,  by  a  vote  of  155  to 
72,  and  on  February  15  it  passed  the  Senate  by  a  small  majority. 
On  March  i,  1879,  President  Hayes  returned  it  with  his  veto, 
declaring  that  history  gave  no  other  instance  where  a  treaty  had 
been  abrogated  by  Congress  and  that  it  was  not  competent  to 
modify  a  treaty  by  cutting  out  certain  sections,  and  even  if  it 
were  constitutional,  seeing  that  China  would  probably  assent 
willingly  to  such  a  modification,  he  thought  it  better  policy  to 
wait  for  the  proper  course  of  diplomatic  negotiations. 



Congress  failed  to  pass  the  bill  over  the  veto,  and  negotiations 
were  almost  immediately  entered  into  for  a  change  in  the  treaty. 
On  November  17,  1880,  a  treaty  somewhat  as  desired  by  the 
Pacific  coast  was  concluded,  the  article  relating  to  the  limitation 
and  suspension  of  Chinese  immigration  into  the  United  States 
being  as  follows : 

Whenever  in  the  opinion  of  the  Government  of  the  United  States 
the  coming  of  Chinese  laborers  to  the  United  States,  or  their  residence 
therein,  affects  or  threatens  to  affect  the  interests  of  that  country, 
or  to  endanger  the  good  order  of  the  said  country,  or  of  any  locality 
within  the  territory  thereof,  the  Government  of  China  agrees  that  the 
Government  of  the  United  States  may  regulate,  limit,  or  suspend 
such  coming  or  residence,  but  may  not  absolutely  prohibit  it.  The 
limitation  or  suspension  shall  be  reasonable,  and  shall  apply  only  to 
Chinese  who  may  go  to  the  United  States  as  laborers,  other  classes 
not  being  included  in  the  limitations.  Legislation  taken  in  regard  to 
Chinese  laborers  will  be  of  such  a  character  only  as  is  necessary  to 
enforce  the  regulation,  limitation,  or  suspension  of  immigration,  and 
immigrants  shall  not  be  subject  to  personal  maltreatment  or  abuse. 


After  the  entry  of  1880  was  concluded  a  bill  to  execute  certain 
stipulations  contained  therein  was  passed  by  the  Senate  and 
House.  As  this  bill  went  to  the  President  for  approval  it  provided 
that  within  ninety  days  after  its  passage,  and  until  twenty  years 
thereafter,  the  coming  of  Chinese  laborers  should  be  suspended. 
Exception  was  made  to  Chinese  laborers  who  were  in  the  United 
States  on  November  17,  1880,  and  those  who  should  come  before 
the  act  went  into  effect.  Also  a  complete  system  of  registration, 
certification  and  identification  was  provided.  Skilled  Chinese 
laborers  were  specifically  among  those  excluded,  and  all  state  or 
United  States  courts  were  denied  the  right  to  admit  Chinese  to 
citizenship.  On  April  4, 1882,  President  Arthur  returned  the  bill 
with  his  veto,  his  principal  reason  for  refusing  to  sign  it  being  that 
the  passage  of  an  act  prohibiting  immigration  for  twenty  years 
was  an  unreasonable  suspension  of  immigration  and  consequently 
a  breach  of  the  treaty.  The  features  relating  to  registration  he 


also  claimed  served  no  good  purpose.  Subsequently  a  modified 
bill  was  passed  by  Congress,  and.  although  containing  some  of  the 
provisions  objectionable  to  the  President,  he  approved  it  on 
May  6,  1882.  This  law  provided  that  all  immigration  of  Chinese 
laborers,  skilled  or  unskilled,  should  be  suspended  for  a  period  of 
ten  years. 


In  the  next  Congress  there  were  several  bills  introduced  amend- 
ing this  act  of  1882.  One  of  these,  that  of  Mr.  Henley,  of  Cali- 
fornia, was  reported  favorably  by  the  Committee  on  Foreign 

The  law  had  been  intended,  by  its  originators,  to  exclude 
Chinese  laborers,